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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 32 other sites (including Screen Rant, IGN, The Escapist, and California Informer [OI's sister site]), has had his fiction featured in several publications, and has even taught English in Japan. Imagineering school won’t be too far behind.

Ghostbusters announced for Halloween Horror Nights 2019

Who you gonna call? If you’re Universal and you’re looking to fill up the roster of this year’s Halloween Horror Nights, the answer, of course, is the Ghostbusters, one of the biggest names in comedy/horror over the past three-and-a-half decades (and a property that is celebrating its 35th anniversary this month!). Indeed, despite long gaps […]

Star Wars: Dok-Ondar’s story REVEALED

Yes, we’ve already received the novel Thrawn: Alliances, which saw Grand Admiral Thrawn and Darth Vader be dispatched to the remote world of Batuu on a secret mission for Emperor Palpatine in the final days before the original Star Wars trilogy, and we’ve gotten the young-adult book Pirate’s Price, which contains the fully-fleshed-out backstory of […]

Yeti: Terror of the Yukon announced for Halloween Horror Nights 2019

One of the greatest strengths – not to mention draws – of Halloween Horror Nights each and every year is how Universal manages to build in a great deal of versatility into its haunted-house roster; last year’s event, for example, featured the likes of extra-dimensional monsters, carnies, witches, ghosts, masked killers, werewolves, and zombies. It’s […]

REVIEW: Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

By this point, we feel like we’ve been in the Forbidden Forest with Rubeus Hagrid for forever now – we’ve pored over the concept art, analyzed the importance of having the jolly half-giant as the protagonist of the ride, deconstructed its story, and, of course, toured its queue. Because of this long history, you might […]

Bigfire: 3 big takeaways from Universal Orlando’s newest restaurant

The last time we checked in on Bigfire, Universal Orlando Resort’s newest gastronomical addition, the venue had just been announced; now, two months later, Universal invited us to a tour of the soon-to-open restaurant as part of a media event. We were taken with Bigfire’s culinary premise, aesthetic bent, and – of course – tableside […]

20 changes across Islands of Adventure’s 20 years

Although CityWalk – that giant collection of restaurants, night clubs, stores, and entertainment options – might have arrived first, it’s actually with Islands of Adventure that Universal’s toehold in Orlando was truly able to transform into a full-fledged resort. It’s hard to imagine that momentous event happened 20 short years ago, but it’s true – […]

Depths of Fear announced for Halloween Horror Nights 2019

Are you ready to plumb the depths of your fear? Universal has announced its next original haunted house for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights, and it looks to be a doozy: Depths of Fear. Set within a deep-sea underwater mining rig, the workers have dug too deeply into the ocean floor and accidentally unleashed a […]

FIRST LOOK: our tour of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Be the first to know about any future announcements by signing up for email updates! Orlando Informer got the chance to check out Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure last week, getting a personal tour of (most of) its queue, learning some intriguing tidbits about its wild ride experience, and watching as the magicked motorcycles went […]

Universal Monsters announced for Halloween Horror Nights 2019

Today, Universal has made many fans’ dreams come true by announcing that it’s going to take the most seminal film property in its library out of the dusty vault that it typically keeps it stored in and set it loose at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights. Yes, that’s right – the Universal Monsters are coming […]

Nightingales: Blood Pit announced for Halloween Horror Nights 2019

What would Halloween Horror Nights be without the occasional homage to years past thrown into the mix? For this year’s event, a blast from the past is exactly what we’re getting – in more ways than one – in the form of Nightingales: Blood Pit. The Nightingales only made one (major) appearance, all the way […]

Bigfire is replacing Emeril’s at Universal Orlando

On May 8, 2018, word unexpectedly arrived that Emeril’s Orlando, that long-standing anchor of CityWalk, would be permanently closing up shop on July 7. Speculation immediately turned to just what would be succeeding the venerable venue, given its central location in the dining/shopping/entertainment district, specifically, and given the trend of what all the other recent replacements […]

Nintendo and Minions coming in first-ever expansion to Universal Studios Singapore

There are four Universal theme-park locations around the world (for now, at least – an absolutely-mammoth Beijing resort is currently being built, with it already having nabbed the title of being the most expensive theme park in the world). Of these, Universal only owns three, meaning that the fourth, in Singapore, has largely been left […]

Stranger Things returning for Halloween Horror Nights 2019!

When it was originally announced that Netflix’s Stranger Things would be making its way to last year’s Halloween Horror Nights, we found the little nugget that only the absolutely-mammoth show’s first season would be realized in haunted-house fashion to be a little suspicious. And even though the event’s designers later told us that they had […]

Sesame Street is the most detailed area of SeaWorld

On the one hand, the new Sesame Street land at SeaWorld Orlando is a pretty standard children’s area of a theme park; with its bright colors, happy music, and inviting design, it’s actually fairly reminiscent of the Shamu’s Happy Harbor land that it only recently replaced (especially considering that all six of its rides are […]

Hagrid roller coaster’s story REVEALED

Be the first to know about any future announcements by signing up for email updates! First, Universal unveiled Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure’s setting. Then the company gave us the new ride’s name, main character, and opening date. What more could possibly be left to discover? Well, how about the actual premise of the ride? […]

New coaster coming to Busch Gardens Tampa

After months of wild speculation, rumors, and anticipation, Busch Gardens today announced what is going to replace Busch Gardens Tampa’s long-suffering (and -shuttered) Gwazi wooden roller coaster. This brand-new, as-yet-unnamed coaster is yet another hybrid coaster from manufacturer Rocky Mountain Company, which has quickly obtained a sterling reputation for laying new steel track over the […]

New Harry Potter projection show coming to Orlando

Be the first to know about when the Dark Arts show opens in Orlando by signing up for email updates! Inserting a projection-mapping show in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade is, arguably, one of the most clever developments we’ve seen come out of Universal across the past several years, if not longer – […]

Today Cafe coming to Universal Studios Florida

One of the new imperatives that Comcast installed when it became the owner of NBCUniversal in 2011 is rather well known: open at least one new attraction each and every year, preferably at all three of the theme-park locations it fully controls (those would be Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Orlando Resort, and Universal Studios Japan, […]

New Harry Potter coaster REVEALED

Be the first to know about any future announcements by signing up for email updates! For Harry Potter (and Universal Orlando Resort) fans, July 24, 2017 is a date that’s etched in the collective consciousness – the day that Universal first announced the existence of a brand-new roller coaster set in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And since […]

Universal’s $6.5 billion theme-park resort starts construction in Beijing

It’s time for a little update on what is shaping up to be one of the single biggest projects that Universal Parks and Resorts has ever embarked upon in its roughly 55-year history. First, though, we should probably (quickly!) backtrack. Universal Beijing Resort, just the second full-fledged theme-park resort that Universal has ever made, was […]

Star Wars: The Millennium Falcon ride’s story REVEALED

UPDATE: Disney and Lucasfilm snuck in a quick follow-up to the book Pirate’s Price, adding one more (brief) chapter to Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run’s backstory, which we cover in a brand-new section below. – For a planet that was supposed to be brand-new to Star Wars fans around the world, Batuu sure has been seeing a […]

Universal Orlando: Year in review 2018

When you’re a (relatively) big, thriving theme-park resort like Universal Orlando is, one that receives hundreds of millions of dollars each and every year in new upgrades and improvements and for future expansions, you see quite a bit of change over the course of 12 months – attractions closing, hotels opening, and flurries of other […]

Harry Potter: Japan’s new mysterious projection-mapping show

This time last year, Universal Japan made waves when it announced that its new 2018 attraction would not only be state-of-the-art, but also Harry Potter-infused: Universal Spectacle Night Parade – Best of Hollywood, which the company proudly boasted was “the world’s first next-generation parade” (thanks to its heavy utilization of projection mapping). Beyond the wonder […]

3 ways The Crimes of Grindelwald could be turned into an attraction

Two years ago, upon the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – the first of the new Harry Potter prequel/spin-off film series – we sketched out our three best ideas for theme-park attractions based off of the new Wizarding World tale. Now that the second installment, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, is here, it’s […]

UPDATED: Universal Orlando’s limited-time pop-up bar for holidays 2018

Loews Hotels, the company that manages all of Universal Orlando Resort’s various on-site hotels, started to experiment just a few years ago with two items that are gaining more and more traction among the public, particularly the younger demographic: handcrafted cocktails and limited-time, exclusive experiences (something which Universal itself has mastered, thanks to the likes […]

Stranger Things EXTENDING Halloween Horror Nights 2018’s run

Last week, Universal Studios Hollywood made something of a surprise announcement: it was going to do an one-week-only lights-on, daytime tour of its Stranger Things haunted house, at no additional charge to park attendees. Though unprecedented (no, the West Coast doesn’t offer a version of our Behind the Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tours – which […]

UPDATED: Disney World’s gondolas officially announced

UPDATE 10:13 AM 11.14.18: at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo 2018, The Walt Disney Company announced that the Disney Skyliner will officially open in the fall of 2019. UPDATE 12:40 PM 10.19.18: Disney showed off this spiffy little video that’s meant to give us the best illustration yet of what the new […]

4 secrets of bringing Stranger Things to life at Halloween Horror Nights

It is no secret that Stranger Things, the hit Netflix original series, has been the flagship haunted house at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights – not only has it dominated the annual event’s social-media and press coverage, it’s also attained a place of prominence amongst its food and drink lineup and, of course, has garnered […]

SeaWorld: What’s coming in 2019

SeaWorld feels like, just maybe, it’s standing on the precipice of a full-fledged revival, rising up from a years-long period of controversy and economic difficulties and potentially emerging as a leaner, meaner theme-park operator: its stock has been on the rebound, fueled by a nearly-five-percent increase in its quarterly revenue and attendance; it’s doubled down […]

New Harry Potter coaster artwork REVEALED

On July 24, 2017, Universal made an announcement that was widely expected but which was nonetheless sad to many a Wizarding World of Harry Potter fan: Dragon Challenge, that massive, formerly-dueling inverted roller coaster, would be shutting down for good on September 5 of that year. Ever since then, the company has kept its wizarding […]

Explained: Disney World’s new date-based tickets

UPDATE (8:45 am 10.16.18): today is the day that the new, date-based pricing structure goes into effect at Walt Disney World Resort. To commemorate the occasion, Disney has released this infographic, to try and help explain when the new system will cost guests less or more when heading out to the parks: Furthermore, today is also […]

How to use Universal Orlando’s new mobile order

UPDATE 3:23 pm, 10.22.18: Universal keeps rolling out mobile order to more and more locations, and doing so in a much faster fashion than we had initially thought, just four short weeks ago – now four quick-service restaurants brandish the smart-phone feature, with more doubtless already in the pipeline. Each venue’s dedicated guide page in the […]

Review: Halloween Horror Nights 2018

The buildup to Halloween Horror Nights 2018 has easily been one of the most exciting in a considerable amount of time, with the various haunted-house and scare-zone announcements coming fast and furious (unlike last year) and containing veritable doozies, starting with what is arguably the biggest announcement in the event’s 27-year history: the arrival of […]

A Celebration of Harry Potter isn’t coming back to Orlando in 2019

On August 7, 2013 – almost exactly three months after The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley was officially announced – Universal further surprised and delighted Harry Potter fans by unveiling a brand-new event: A Celebration of Harry Potter. From January 24 through 26, 2014, fans descended upon Universal Orlando Resort to, well, […]

Why you should travel solo to Universal Orlando

Editor’s note: special thanks to OI reader – and superfan – Libby Thomas for submitting the following article to us. Love Universal Orlando Resort? Don’t have a friend or family member with your same enthusiasm? Fear not, my friends – you can still go to your favorite theme park. Just do it alone! It sounds scary […]

6 lost attractions of San Francisco/Amity at Universal Studios Florida

We’ve already jumped in our trusty time machines and prowled the space-time continuum in order to experience all of the now-lost attractions at both Production Central and New York, the first two lands at Universal Studios Florida. Now that we’ve had the chance to recover from our nostalgic adventures and have gassed the DeLorean back […]

Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After announced for Halloween Horror Nights 2018

Are you ready to return to the merry old land of Oz? Halloween Horror Nights 2018’s tenth (and final!) haunted house has just been announced, and it looks like an intriguing continuation of the mythology that the event has been sporadically spinning throughout its history. Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After takes two recurring elements from […]

The Horrors of Blumhouse announced for Halloween Horror Nights 2018

Blumhouse Productions, the tiny production company that has since gone on to conquer nearly all of the entertainment world, has had an involved relationship with Universal for the past four years, encapsulating both Hollywood (a first-look deal with Universal Pictures that runs until 2024) and, of course, the theme parks (multiple haunted houses and scare […]

The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad closing at Universal Orlando

In a move that seemingly came out of nowhere, it’s today been revealed that the Eighth Voyage of Sindbad stunt show will quickly be coming to a close – its last performance is currently scheduled for Saturday, September 15. We say the development is a surprise one, but, in retrospect, the writing has been, perhaps, long on […]

Halloween 4 announced for Halloween Horror Nights 2018

It is not unusual to see Universal do at least one retro haunted house for its Halloween Horror Nights each and every year, and for 2014, that throwback came in the form of Halloween, recreating the classic 1978 film. It was a fan-favorite, leading the company to make 2016’s historical entry (well, one of them, at least) […]

Poltergeist announced for Halloween Horror Nights 2018

Poltergeist is, without question, one of the quintessential horror films, having instantly secured its place in cinematic history upon its 1982 release. Its horror set pieces, its music (by the late and great Jerry Goldsmith), and, of course, its performances all combined to create an experience that irrevocably seared itself into our cultural consciousness, prompting […]

Seeds of Extinction announced for Halloween Horror Nights 2018

In a Halloween event that is already festooned with zombies, extra-dimensional predators, masked killers, swamp yetis, and crazed carnies, what else could Universal possibly throw into the mix? The answer, it turns out, is surprisingly easy: aliens. Seeds of Extinction is the sixth haunted house announced for Halloween Horror Nights, and it posits a future […]

Our first visit to Batuu from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

When Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was originally announced back in August 2015, fans were surprised to learn that Disney had opted to place its new theme-park land on Batuu, a brand-new world in the Star Wars mythology, rather than on one of the pre-existent planets from either the films or television shows (like the Skywalkers’ […]

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: What’s next after Toy Story Land

It’s been something of a turbulent period for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the smallest – and, more recently, the most construction-laden – theme park at Walt Disney World Resort. An unbelievably large swath of the location’s various attractions have been shut down over the past four years, preparing the way for new additions that will do […]

Disney’s new Christmas celebrations include Toy Story Land in 2018

With Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party starting right around the corner (it kicks off this year on Friday, August 17), it’s time for Disney and all good vacation-planners alike to look ahead to the next big seasonal event: Christmas, which begins this year at Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday, November 8. After the success of […]

Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration: Complete breakdown

On the night of July 4, Universal had a very special surprise for all of the guests spending the holiday at the resort: a technical rehearsal of its brand-new nighttime spectacular, Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration (which, we learned during the occasion, still officially has its somewhat-unwieldy subtitle of Epic Cinema under the Stars). We were […]

Halloween Horror Nights 2018: House backstory REVEALED

Even though it doesn’t start for another two-and-a-half months, this year’s Halloween Horror Nights has already proven to be something of a return to form; the hallowed event used to be a more synchronized or cohesive affair, with a headlining icon that would set the year’s theme and tone both, with a set of haunted […]

Halloween Horror Nights 2018: Every scare zone REVEALED

UPDATE (07.29.18): during this year’s Midsummer Scream panel, Universal had a few surprises up its sleeve regarding the Killer Klowns from Outer Space scare zone – most, if not all, of the Klowns from the cult film will be represented on the streets of Universal Studios Florida, as will the infamous ice cream truck. Okay, yes […]

What if Universal built Scooby-Doo’s Spooky Island?

Scooby-Doo may be 49-years-old, but the franchise has managed to maintain a firm place in the pop-cultural landscape thanks to its nearly-infinite number of television series (which have continued on up through this year), films, direct-to-video releases, and spinoff tie-ins, which even include stage productions. Likewise, it’s already been 16 years since the two live-action […]

Slaughter Sinema announced for Halloween Horror Nights 2018

When Universal said that this year’s Halloween Horror Nights would be ’80s-themed, it really wasn’t kidding – the second original house for the event, Slaughter Sinema, has just been announced, and it’s a retro throwback for the ages. Themed as a drive-in from that indelible decade, the maze will consist of several different fictitious B-flicks that […]