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: January 16, 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
My Universal Photos
Universal’s Photo Connect program has been rebranded to My Universal Photos, and our guide has been updated.
A facial-recognition test is currently being held at certain attractions located in both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure; guests will need to have their photo taken when using their Express Passes for the first time at these. Learn more in our complete guide to Express Passes.
Upcoming annual events and special celebrations
Harbor Nights Romantico will be held on Friday, February 16, at 6:30 pm. It might be two days after Valentine’s Day, but the “enchanting” evening should still be romantic enough: select and sparkling wines will be pared with “decadent gourmet selections” from each of Portofino’s restaurants. When combined with live music by the Johnny Cool Swing Band and the Mediterranean views under the twinkling lights of the picturesque Harbor Piazza, love will certainly be in the air.
Hard Rock Hotel
January’s Velvet Session will feature Everclear. They’ll play from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm on January 26; you can order tickets here (purchasing online saves you $5 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 Friday of the month (January through October). A Velvet Sessions ticket includes free specialty drinks, finger foods, and valet parking. A VIP ticket 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.
Loews Royal Pacific Resort
Jake’s Beer Festival is returning for the second time in 2017! Guests can enjoy more than 50 craft and specialty beers, creative and tasty foods expertly prepared by the hotel’s award-winning chefs, and live entertainment under the outdoor Wantilan Pavilion. You can see the complete list of menu items and beers here. Note that you must be at least 21 years of age in order to attend.
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).
New in January 2018, Sapphire Falls also hosts a Despicable Me Character Breakfast every Saturday. Located in Cayman Court, just like the Caribbean Carnaval, guests can enjoy traditional breakfast food and meet Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes, and the Minions. One free digital photo is included with the breakfast, which costs $34.99 for ages 10 and up and $20.99 for ages three to nine. Theme park admission and hotel reservations aren’t required; however, reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance. The breakfast runs from 9:00 am to 11:30 am. Guests can book on this page.
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
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 – Disaster! A Major Motion Picture Ride, Starring YOU closed on September 8, 2015 and Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue closed on January 5, 2016 to make way for this new attraction opening in 2018. Learn more.
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
Jurassic Park: River Adventure – the famed water ride will be down for its annual maintenance from January 30 to February 15.
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.
Early Park Admission – half of the park will now only be eligible for Early Park Admission. For the complete scoop, please check out our complete guide to EPA.
Also, Volcano Bay’s hours of operation have changed. For the month of December, it opens at 10:00 am (with EPA at 9:00) and closes at 5:00 pm every day (save for Saturdays, which have a 7:00 pm closing time). We expect this schedule to switch to every day, including Saturdays, starting in January and running on through May.
Weight limit changes – Kala and Tai Nui, two of the three drop-door slides, have had their weight limit changed for the third time. The limit for these two water slides is now 230 pounds.
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.
Element closed – this store has closed and a Voodoo Doughnuts location is rumored to replace it. You can read the full rumor on the OI Blog.
NBC Sports Grill & Brew – help NBC Sports Grill & Brew celebrate the Super Bowl being on NBC this year by participating in fun entertainment, giveaways, authentic NFL helmet displays, and more. The festivities will be held on game day, Sunday, February 4, 2018.
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
Cabana Bay Beach Resort Expansion – 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.
Universal’s Aventura Hotel – opening in August 2018, this is another prime value on-site hotel coming to Universal Orlando. Learn more here.
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 will be closing for good on December 31, 2017, with a “new and exciting” concept replacing it. Emeril’s Orlando, meanwhile, will remain at Universal CityWalk. “With great gratitude to our loyal customers, hardworking staff, and colleagues at the Loews Royal Pacific, it’s been an incredible 15 years,” said Emeril Lagasse.
The restaurant will maintain its regular hours of operation (lunch from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, dinner from 5:00 to 10:00 pm, and happy hour from 5:00 to 8:00 pm) until December 31, 2017. Guests may continue making reservations by calling (407) 503-2467 or heading online.
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
When we say that Orlando Informer is the world’s leading resource for Universal Orlando vacation planning, we’re not just blowin’ smoke. Start your journey through our knowledge by following any link below.
- 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
- 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
- Summer Concert Series
- Rock the Universe 2017
- Halloween Horror Nights 2017 (overview & explanation)
- Thanksgiving 2017
- Holidays 2017
- New Year’s Eve 2017
- 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
- OI Priority List: Islands of Adventure
- Wave Village
- River Village
- Rainforest Village
- Production Central
- New York
- San Francisco
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
- The Hogwarts Express
- Tales of Beedle the Bard & Celestina Warbeck
- Ollivander’s Wand Shop – Diagon Alley
- London waterfront
- Diagon Alley shopping
- Horizont Alley
- Carkitt Market
- Knockturn Alley
- The Leaky Cauldron (quick-service)
- Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlor (quick-service)
- World Expo/Springfield, USA
- Fear Factor Live
- Men in Black: Alien Attack
- Welcome to Springfield, USA
- The Simpsons Ride
- Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n Hurl
- Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck (quick-service)
- Duff Brewery (limited-service bar)
- Moe’s Tavern (limited-service bar)
- Simpsons Fast Food Blvd – overview
- Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone
- Super Nintendo World (coming soon)
- Skull Island: Reign of Kong
- Port of Entry
- Marvel Super Hero Island
- Toon Lagoon
- Jurassic Park
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade
- The Lost Continent
- Seuss Landing
- Full-service restaurants
- Quick-service restaurants
- Bread Box Handcrafted Sandwiches
- CityWalk food court: BK Whopper Bar, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Panda Express
- Cold Stone Creamery
- Fusion Bistro Sushi & Sake Bar (coming soon)
- Hot Dog Hall of Fame
- Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt (coming soon)
- Red Oven Pizza Bakery
- Starbucks Coffee (coming soon)
- Breakfast options at Universal CityWalk
- Shows and other entertainment
- Comparing Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels
- Loews Portofino Bay Hotel: Jet away to the Italian Riviera
- Hard Rock Hotel Orlando: Live the rock-‘n-roll lifestyle
- Loews Royal Pacific Resort: Your South Seas escape is waiting
- Loews Sapphire Falls Resort: A paradise where blue waterfalls cascade across lush grounds
- Cabana Bay Beach Resort: Splash back to the 1950s & ’60s
- Loews Aventura Hotel: A sleek and streamlined resort experience (opening August 1, 2018)
- 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
- Universal Orlando Partner Hotels within walking distance
- Walking from Holiday Inn or DoubleTree to Universal Orlando
- Walking from International Drive to Universal Orlando