On this page, you’ll find our totally up-to-date one-stop-shop for everything that is currently happening at Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and all of Universal Orlando Resort! (Yeah, this is a good page to bookmark.)
By the way, we’re very happy to let you know that this is just one page out of over 200 we have in our next-generation encyclopedia of obsessively-updated Universal Orlando vacation-planning info.
Last Updated: August 18, 2018
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Live tweeting and Facebook live-streaming from Universal Orlando
We visit Universal multiple times every month to bring our fans live in-park photo updates direct from Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay! To see all of our photo updates as they happen, we invite you to follow us on Twitter.
We also do Facebook live-streaming from in-park as well from our Facebook page and Facebook community page. To be a part of these live streams, like our Facebook page here and join our private Facebook community here.
Current promotions and resort-wide changes
Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration
July 16 was the official premiere of Universal’s newest – and best! – lagoon show at Universal Studios Florida, Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration. You can find all the vacation-planning info you need to know over at our guide page, and then read all about its in-depth contents in our full breakdown. (And make sure to leave a reader review once you see it!)
On select days during the summer, Universal Orlando’s five on-site hotels offer dive-in movies, which allow you to catch a family-friendly flick while hanging out in or around the pool. We’ve just learned that Loews Hotels will be expanding this popular program starting in August 2018. More details when we get them!
Universal Orlando ticket price increase
On Friday, February 16, Universal increased the price of admission to its theme parks. A three-day two-park ticket (meaning you can visit either Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure) went up by 3.6%, to $284.99; a three-day three-park pass (meaning Volcano Bay is also thrown into the mix) increased by 7.9%, to $339.99. (And just for completeness’s sake, a three-day one-park-per-day ticket is now $279.99, a 7.7% hike).
In the weeks after the theme-park increase, Universal also upped the price of Volcano Bay-only admission – expect to pay $80 now for a one-day ticket, or 19.4% more.
Early Park Admission
The Universal Studios Florida attraction that opens up alongside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for Early Park Admission has reverted back to Revenge of the Mummy (it is usually Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem). No word on how temporary a move this will turn out to be.
Additionally, over at Volcano Bay, there are now six slides that greet EPA goers. You can find the whole list over at our complete guide to EPA.
Florida-resident limited-time offer
Universal has a new limited-time offering for Sunshine State dwellers: buy a one-day park-to-park ticket and get a second day free. The two dates don’t have to be consecutive, but they do have to be purchased by July 31, 2018 and used by August 1. Oh, and there’s one last stipulation: a valid UPC code from a 12-ounce can of Sprite or Fanta Orange is required at the time of purchase.
My Universal Photos
Universal’s Photo Connect program has been rebranded to My Universal Photos, and our guide has been updated.
Upcoming annual events and special celebrations
Halloween Horror Nights 2018
How about a Halloween Horror Nights double-header? On August 8, Seeds of Extinction was announced, and the cult favorite Poltergeist followed on August 9. That leaves only three more haunted houses left to be revealed!
Get caught up on all the other announced mazes, all five scare zones, and the singular “high-energy” stage show in our complete guide. Still not enough for you? Check out the backstory for one of the haunts, Dead Exposure: Patient Zero, and see how the zombie apocalypse unfolds in our write-up.
Mardi Gras 2019
On August 10, Universal went ahead and announced the dates for next year’s annual party: Saturday, February 9 to Thursday, April 4 (which is approximately nine days shorter than last year’s event). You can find more info on the event in our complete guide.
Hard Rock Hotel
August’s Velvet Session will feature The Fixx. They’ll play from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm on August 23; you can order tickets here (purchasing online saves you $4 – making the price $36 – and enables you early entry by half an hour).
Not familiar with Hard Rock’s Velvet Sessions? They’re special rock-‘n-roll cocktail parties and lobby concerts held the last Thursday of the month (January through October). A Velvet Sessions ticket includes free specialty drinks, finger foods, and valet parking. A $50 VIP pass is also available, which throws a special viewing area with a private bar into the mix.
Please note Velvet Sessions are for guests aged 21 and older.
Royal Pacific Resort
As of Saturday, July 14, Royal Pacific Resort now hosts the Despicable Me Character Breakfast. Located in The Tahitian Room (what used to be Emeril’s Tchoup Chop until the end of 2017), guests can enjoy a buffet of “breakfast favorites” and visit with Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes, and the Minions. One free digital photo is included with the meet-‘n-greet, which costs $34.99 for adults (ages 10 and up) and $20.99 for children (ages three to nine). Neither theme-park admission nor a hotel stay is required; however, reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Each session lasts for an hour, features communal seating (meaning you’ll be making some new human friends alongside the Minion ones), and has three different morning time slots: 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 (that’s a half-hour later than they initially were).
(In case you were wondering, the Despicable Me Character Breakfast was originally held at Sapphire Falls Resort’s Cayman Court.)
You can book on this page.
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
Sapphire Falls Resort hosts a Caribbean Carnaval event weekly at its hotel, where guests can celebrate the culture of various areas of the Caribbean, including the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad. We reviewed the event on the Orlando Informer Blog.
Please be aware that Caribbean Carnaval now takes place on Fridays (previously Wednesdays).
Hard Rock Live
Located at Universal CityWalk, Hard Rock Live is a multi-use performance center that features a variety of acts, from pop and rock artists to stand-up comedians to special events, both public and private. Because Hard Rock Live has dozens of events scheduled at any one time, we aren’t able to list them here – so be sure to check out its website to see if one of your favorite acts will be on-site when you’re there!
Universal Studios Florida
Revenge of the Mummy – the ride’s lockers have been moved from their position in front of the show building to within it, where the main entrance had been for the past several years. Many of the props and items that were in this room previously have been removed and are now on sale at Williams of Hollywood, Universal Studios Florida’s prop shop.
Terminator 2 3D: Battle across Time – this attraction closed on October 8, 2017 to make way for a new, unannounced show to open in 2019. You can read more about the announcement and history of T23D here on the OI Blog.
Express additions – Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and the Hogwarts Express now accept Universal Express passes. You can learn more on our Orlando Informer Blog.
Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon – Twister… Ride It Out closed on November 2, 2015 to make way for Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, which is now open! Details can be found here.
Fast & Furious – Supercharged – in a surprise move, Universal announced first thing in the morning on Monday, April 23 that its newest attraction was now open! Find out everything you ever wanted to know about the ride – and leave your real guest review – on our Supercharged page.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley – Jaws and its home on Amity Island were closed permanently on January 3, 2012 to make way for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, which officially opened on July 8, 2014. This “London” portion of the Harry Potter story features new shops, a themed restaurant, and two new attractions: the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts simulator experience and a real Hogwarts Express running between London and the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Hogsmeade, over at Islands of Adventure. Visit our insider’s guide to the Wizarding World to learn so, so much more.
The list above is only a summary of the current attraction refurbishments, openings, and closings at Universal Studios Florida. For a complete list of the park’s attractions, scroll to the bottom of this page or visit the OI Universal Center table of contents.
Islands of Adventure
The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad – Islands of Adventure’s stunt show, which opened with the park on May 28, 1999, will be staging its last performance on Saturday, September 15. You can find out the reasons why over on the OI Blog.
The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle – Universal has been continually adding on more dates to its new (more or less) year-round projection-mapping show (which replaced the seasonal Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle at the beginning of the year). Find the full details on our guide page.
Marvel Character Dinner – Spidey, Cap, and more are now dinning with a guest of honor – you! We’ve experienced the new Marvel Character Dinner for ourselves, and we tell you all about it in our complete guide.
Package pick-up – guests sending their packages to the front of Islands of Adventure to be picked up later now will have to stop by Port Provisions (instead of Ocean Trader Market) to do so.
Dragon Challenge – the 18-year-old ride’s final day of operation was on September 4, 2017. A new Harry Potter coaster will replace it, opening in 2019. More details can be found here on the OI Blog.
Express additions – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and the Hogwarts Express now accept Universal Express Passes. You can learn more on our Orlando Informer blog.
Women’s Boutique in Marvel – a small women’s boutique with Marvel apparel has opened in Marvel Superhero Island. You can see a video of the store on our YouTube channel.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster – this headline attraction is now open! It features a new track, completely refreshed queue experience, and more. You can learn all about it by clicking here.
Skull Island: Reign of Kong – King Kong is now open at Universal Orlando Resort! This brand-new attraction is located in between Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park. You’ll navigate perilous jungles, explore ancient temple structures, and encounter hostile natives – and that’s only the beginning. Learn more.
The list above is only a summary of the current attraction refurbishments, openings, and closings at Islands of Adventure. For a complete list of the park’s attractions, scroll to the bottom of this page or visit the OI Universal Center table of contents.
Express Pass changes – there are now two types of Express Passes that are available at Volcano Bay. The basic level covers seven rides (Krakatau Aqua Coaster, Punga Racers, Taniwha Tubes, and the two double-headers of Honu ika Moana and Maku Puihi), while the new premium version adds in four additional attractions (Ko’okiri Body Plunge, Kala and Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides, and the double Ohyah and Ohno Drop Slides).
Pricing depends on the day (such as $50 for basic and $80 for premium, as just one example), and the passes can only be obtained in the park. For more, see our Volcano Bay tickets and Express Pass pages.
Character appearance – King Julien from DreamWorks Animation will be on-hand at Volcano Bay to meet-‘n-greet with guests through Labor Day weekend!
Ride changes – Taniwha Tubes has now been split up into two different attractions: Tonga of Taniwha Tubes (the green slides) and Raki of Taniwha Tubes (the blue ones).
Why make the change? Now, Universal has two different rides where before it only had one, helping to better process the summertime crowds that are already starting to inundate the shores of Volcano Bay.
Hours of operation changes – starting in June, Volcano Bay opens at 9:00 am (with EPA at 8:00) and typically closes at either 9:00 or 10:00 pm (though with some exceptions).
Weight limit changes – Kala and Tai Nui, two of the three drop-door slides at the park, have had their weight limit changed for the fifth time – they’re now up to 275 pounds after having been down (anywhere from 230 to 270) for a little while.
Height changes – more little ones can now enjoy Runamukka Reef, as its height restriction has been bumped down from 54″ to 48″.
Menu changes – Volcano Bay has removed over 20 items from the menus across the park. You can read the full details in our article.
Now open – the new water theme park is now open! You can see our full coverage here.
CityWalk’s movie theater – AMC Universal Cineplex 20 with IMAX is shutting down on Friday, September 14 and will reopen the next day as Universal Cinemark, though the process to transition/upgrade each of the theater’s 20 auditoriums will continue on for the next several months.
Emeril’s Orlando – CityWalk’s original flagship eatery closed its doors for good on July 7, 2018. Worry not, however – the fine-dining establishment has been memorialized forever in our Prop Graveyard.
Voodoo Doughnut – this quirky, delicious West Coast start-up is now officially open! To view its hours of operations, as well as see the rest of our full, in-depth coverage, visit our guide page.
Even better, the venue unveiled its Orlando-exclusive flavor on May 31: Universal Orangesicle. Stop by, give it a try, and leave a review on our Voodoo guide page.
NBC Sports Grill & Brew – this family-friendly sports-centric dining venue has one of the largest menus at Universal and plenty of TV screens. See our complete coverage (including the red-carpet grand opening), our top five mouthwatering recommendations, or the top five delectable desserts at the new restaurant. (Just be aware that the menu has changed a bit since its opening.)
Looking for CityWalk events? They are included in our events section near the top of the page — skip up there.
For more information about Universal CityWalk, scroll to the bottom of this page or visit the OI Universal Center table of contents.
Loews on-site hotels
Aventura Hotel – Universal Orlando’s sixth on-site hotel opened on Thursday, August 16, and we have tons of coverage for you to peruse. It all starts on our main overview page!
Endless Summer Resort – Universal has announced the name of its upcoming hotel complex: Endless Summer Resort. It’ll consist of two properties – the 750-room Surfside Inn and Suites and the 2,050-room Dockside Inn and Suites – and will be the very first entry in the value hotel category, with room rates that start at $73 a night (using certain promotions).
Cabana Bay Beach Resort – 400 new rooms have arrived at Universal’s prime value hotel. The new towers are now open and are located next to Universal’s water theme park, Volcano Bay.
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort – Universal Orlando’s fifth on-site hotel is now open! The new property, a paradise where blue waterfalls cascade across lush grounds, features 1,000 guest rooms geared towards families and convention attendees. Our complete guide has been updated, and it consists of 10 pages and hundreds of photos and videos!
Loews Royal Pacific Resort – Emeril’s Tchoup Chop closed for good on December 31, 2017, with a “new and exciting” concept slated to replace it sometime in the future. Emeril’s Orlando, meanwhile, remains at Universal CityWalk. “With great gratitude to our loyal customers, hardworking staff, and colleagues at Loews Royal Pacific, it’s been an incredible 15 years,” said Emeril Lagasse.
Royal Pacific wrapped up a complete remodel of its rooms. The new rooms are a pretty substantial departure from the previous color scheme and design.
Looking for hotel events? They are included in our events section near the top of the page — skip up there.
The list above is only a summary of the current projects relating to the Loews on-site hotels at Universal Orlando. For complete details about these properties, including over 700 full-screen photos, check out the links below or visit the OI Universal Center table of contents.
Do you have a question about the information on this page, would like to provide feedback, or did you spot an inaccuracy? Please let us know by posting in our Universal Community Facebook Group.
See everything else you’ve been missing
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- Which Universal Orlando theme park is better?
- Maps, Rider’s Guide, & vacation brochure
- Universal Orlando annual passes – complete insider’s guide
- Attraction Assistance & Guest Assistance Passes
- Universal vacation packages – an insider’s guide
- Top 12 easiest ways to save time & money at Universal
- Ride wait times based on crowd levels
- Universal Express Passes – complete insider’s guide
- The secret to getting UNLIMITED Express Passes
- Universal’s Q-bot Ride Reservation System
- Universal Dining Plans – complete insider’s guide
- Dining reservations at Universal Orlando
- Parking & Universal’s transportation hub
- Shuttles, taxis, & towncars: Transportation recommendations
- Orlando average monthly temperatures
- What to pack for your vacation
- Shopping & merchandise at Universal Orlando
- Visiting USF with kids – a complete guide
- Visiting IOA with kids – a complete guide
- Rental & ride lockers at Universal
- Characters at Universal’s theme parks
- Child Swap at Universal’s thrill rides
- MIB: How to max out your score at 999,999
- Refillable cups, popcorn buckets, & Coke Freestyle
- Free internet access at Universal Orlando
- Phone Charging at Universal Orlando
- My Universal Photos & ride photos
- 20 ideas for free or inexpensive entertainment around Orlando
- Breakfast at Universal Orlando Resort
- Only guaranteed ways to beat the crowds at the Wizarding World
- How to ensure your trip to the Wizarding World is a success!
- Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World – a complete guide
- Return tickets & standby line to enter the Wizarding World
- Interactive wands & spell-casting in the Wizarding World
- Complete insider’s guide to Butterbeer
- The specialty drinks, meals, and desserts of Diagon Alley
- Leaky Cauldron: The grandest feast a wizard can have
- Three Broomsticks & Hog’s Head: Drink in the details
- Shopping & merchandise at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley
- Shopping & merchandise at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade
- A Celebration of Harry Potter 2018
- Mardi Gras 2018
- Easter 2018
- Summer Concert Series
- Rock the Universe 2018
- Halloween Horror Nights 2018 (overview & explanation)
- Thanksgiving 2017
- Holidays 2018
- New Year’s Eve 2018
- Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure 1-day touring plan
- Ultimate Universal Studios 1-day touring plan
- Ultimate Islands of Adventure 1-day touring plan
- Volcano Bay touring plan
- 3-day touring plan for on-site guests: Day 1
- 3-day touring plan for on-site guests: Day 2
- 3-day touring plan for on-site guests: Day 3
- Wizarding World of Harry Potter touring plan
- Design your own Universal Orlando touring plans
- OI Priority List: Universal Studios Florida
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- Production Central
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- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
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- London waterfront
- Diagon Alley shopping
- Horizont Alley
- Carkitt Market
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- The Leaky Cauldron (quick-service)
- Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlor (quick-service)
- World Expo/Springfield, USA
- Fear Factor Live
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- Welcome to Springfield, USA
- The Simpsons Ride
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- Duff Brewery (limited-service bar)
- Moe’s Tavern (limited-service bar)
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- Port of Entry
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- Toon Lagoon
- Skull Island: Reign of Kong
- Jurassic Park
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade
- The Lost Continent
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Super Nintendo World (coming soon)
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- Shows and other entertainment
- Comparing Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels
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- Universal’s Aventura Hotel: A sleek and streamlined resort experience – now open!
- Universal’s Endless Summer Resort: Never-ending fun in the sun (opening August 2019)
- On-site hotel discount for annual passholders & the logistics of checking in
Off-site hotels around Universal Orlando
- DoubleTree across from the entrance to Universal – discount
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- Dragon Challenge
- Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories
- Terminator 2 3D: Battle across Time
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- Flying Fish Market
- Emeril’s Orlando