Universal Orlando Announces Fourth Theme Park – Universal’s Epic Universe

Universal Orlando Announces Universal's Epic Universe

Orlando’s vacation scene is heating up! There’s a new theme park coming and it promises to be epic.

Universal’s Epic Universe will be Universal Orlando’s fourth theme park, offering an entirely new level of theme park innovation and entertainment. The major expansion will include hotels, restaurants, an entertainment center, shops and much more.

The new park will be located on a 750-acre plot of land just a few miles from the existing resort. Universal said it will provide transportation between all of its attractions (Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay).

Construction is already underway, and now we can begin to have some fun speculating what rides, attractions and intellectual property will be included in the new park. For now, a colorful concept sketch of the massive addition was released, but we’ll have to wait a bit longer for the juicy details about what to expect inside this exciting new park.

Until then, end the summer with a special getaway to Universal Orlando!

By Jeff Hyatt

Top 5 New Things to Experience at Universal Orlando Before Summer Ends

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites

There’s always something new to see and do at Universal Orlando Resort. From entertainment and shopping to dining, shows and all of your favorite rides and attractions, don’t let the summer season end without a getaway to Universal Orlando!

Here’s a quick look at some of the new additions you definitely want to check out:

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
The all-new thrill ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure has been a big success since its recent opening at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The awesome addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter features twists, turns and speedy thrills as visitors fly deep into the wilds of the Forbidden Forest, beyond the grounds of Hogwarts castle.

Bigfire
Universal Citywalk’s new restaurant will delight fans of open fire cooking. Steaks and freshwater cuisine are given the fire-kissed treatment. Bigfire also features one of the most popular fireside treats: s’mores! The graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallows are all prepared tableside.

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites
Guests can finally relax – or ride the wave – at Universal’s all-new budget-friendly hotel. The first Value category hotel for the theme park, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites captures the laid-back vibes of being close to the ocean. Experience everything you want in a hotel – at the perfect price!

Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration
The new celebration of music, water and light transforms the park and takes you into the movies like never before. Massive walls of water blaze with incredible movie moments and powerful projections bring the entire waterfront into the movies. You’ll see and hear roaring dinosaurs from Jurassic World, feel the adrenaline rush of high-speed cars from Fast & Furious, watch the mischievous antics of the Minions from Despicable Me, and much more.

TODAY Cafe
NBC’s top-rated morning show is the inspiration for this new cafe. With its stage lighting and TODAY show segments on the big screen TVs you’ll feel like you’re actually on the TODAY set. Al Roker might not be there to take your order, but you’re going to love the delicious menu that features baked goods, salads, sandwiches and specialty coffees (including a unique blend created specifically for the TODAY Cafe).

By Jeff Hyatt

Meet the Tony Winners: Stephanie J. Block of ‘The Cher Show’

Stephanie J. Block won her first Tony Award for playing Cher in The Cher Show on Broadway. The show chronicles six decades of Cher’s extraordinary life and career. It’s an uplifting story of enduring passion and fierce commitment despite when all odds were against her. Plus, The Cher Show is chock full of Cher’s hit songs and a whole bunch of eye-popping, glittering Bob Mackie costumes. Prior to The Cher Show, Block had been nominated for two Tony Awards. Her other theater credits includes Falsettos, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Anything Goes, 9 to 5: The Musical, The Pirate Queen, Wicked and playing Liza Minnelli in her Broadway debut in The Boy From Oz.

Did you get a text message from Cher before the Tony Awards?
Stephanie J. Block: She’s not Cher on my phone, as you can imagine. Because if you lose your phone, that is information that shouldn’t get out. But every time my phone goes “ding, ding, ding, ding,” when I get seven or eight dings, I pretty much know it’s going to be sweet Cher on the other side. So she was wishing love. She’s really proud of the show. She said that it is bringing so much joy in a time where some of us have heavy hearts. She was delicious in the sense that she said, “Good luck tonight. I mean tomorrow. I mean tonight, no, I mean Sunday. I know, Sunday. I love you doll, Sunday.” And then the kiss emoji. It’s all very Cher. She is so authentically herself, whether it’s an email or text message or in person. She translates the same, and it’s just so beautifully authentic.

Where you always a Cher fan?
SJB: I was a fan of her movies before I was a fan of her music. My parents watched Sonny and Cher, so I can vaguely remember what that meant to our household. But to me, I’ll be honest, it was the Barbie. It was seeing this sleek, long, dark-haired figure in a Barbie box in a gorgeous Bob Mackie gown. And I thought, “Oh, you know what? I feel I resemble her much more than the other Barbies.” And that’s what really drew my attention first. Then the movies. Then the music and now, as odd as it sounds, she is a friend.

When you gave your Tony speech, you talked about your journal entry when you were 12 or 13. What would that child say about you growing up and playing Cher?
SJB: I think she would probably say, “absolutely not.” Growing up in southern California, my life and the beginning part of my career were all with the light roles…doing regional theater. That is one of the reasons I moved to New York. And the idea of bringing someone like Cher to life certainly wasn’t on my radar in any way, shape or form. Making my debut as Liza Minnelli wasn’t on the radar in any way, shape or form. I went from playing Liza 15 years ago to then saying “yes” again to playing another icon. I may be a masochist, but here I am. So I think it was a good decision.

How does it feel to have won a Tony Award?
SJB: Well, when I go to my therapist, we will talk about that. It’s really amazing. You don’t work for the award. But it is always that hope, that wish, a dream, that goal. I mean that little paper from my journal was from 1984. So to stand up there, 30 some years later, and to know that actually happened, really brings me to my knees. There were so many times I thought, “New York is just too much. It’s all too much.” I quit this business at least two, three times a year. And yet I still stand here, because of the people who love me. I know it all takes some endurance and tenacity. Not to bring it back to Cher, but that was one of the reasons why I said “yes” to playing her. It was her tenacity, resilience and never giving up, no matter whatever life threw at her. That has brought me here. I’m so grateful.

By Jeryl Brunner

The Countdown Begins! 5 Reasons We Can’t Wait for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to Open at Walt Disney World

TAW_star-wars

Following its massive grand opening in May at Disneyland, the new Star Wars land known as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set to make its debut at Walt Disney World Resort on August 29, 2019. At the opening, the land will include dining, shopping and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

The Disneyland debut of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has been a rousing success, and we’re excited that later this summer Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open its doors to the incredible, immersive new attraction.

Here are five reasons we’re looking forward to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World:

The Attractions
Live out your Han Solo fantasy and take control of the fastest ship in the galaxy! Embark on the thrilling interactive mission Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. Ride in the famous cockpit of the Millennium Falcon on a daring flight — and whether you’re a pilot, engineer or gunner, every role is crucial. A second ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, will open later this year and place guests into a battle against the First Order.

The Toys
Browse handcrafted toys and collectibles at the whimsical Toydarian Toymaker. Guests will find all types of artisanal playthings and collectibles, perfect for gifts and special keepsakes of your experience.

The Food
The Star Wars-themed land will feature a variety of dining options, from quick bites and treats, to restaurants. One stop should be Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, an eatery housed in a working hangar bay. Sit inside the spacious hangar, or grab a table in the rustic outdoor seating area surrounded by the crumbling walls of the old marketplace.

The Shops
Outfit yourself for galactic adventures at the Black Spire Outfitters. At this local shop, you can browse through an eclectic selection of stylish, functional clothing suitable for a variety of occasions and far away worlds.

The Lightsaber
Customize your own legendary lightsaber and become one with the Force. Visit a covert workshop packed with unusual parts, whimsical pieces and miscellaneous memorabilia collected from the far reaches of the galaxy.

Prepare to discover a galaxy far, far away… at Walt Disney World when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge debuts on August 29.

TicketsatWork.com has great Walt Disney World Resort deals, including special savings for gate prices!

By Jeff Hyatt