There seems to be an entertainment construction boom in O-Town. But first up, something fun and not construction related that I found. You can’t see this from the ground, but I spotted this on a recent trip over I-4. I’ve heard of Hidden Mickey’s, but is Universal starting a Hidden Minion campaign?
Speaking of Universal Orlando, they are working on a couple Top Secret projects. Something called “The Nest” with some alien symbols on it and they are also digging up earth over where Jaws used to be. Ok, it’s Transformers and the Harry Potter expansion. Let’s take a look. First at the land where Jaws used to be where we expect to see a London/Diagon Alley Land as part of the Harry Potter expansion. Read up on some of the rumors here.
Now let’s look at the back lot area between Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. You can see some work along the route (above the red line) that connects the Harry Potter expansion at Studios and the current Harry Potter area at IOA. This will be where the Hogwarts Express train attraction should run.
How is that Transformers attraction coming along you ask? The building is located next to Shrek 4D. This set of photos included a few screen shots of a video that I took for a closer look.
That’s not all for Universal… they are are also building a new, on site resort called Cabana Bay Beach and is now taking reservations for the Spring of 2014.
Next, we will take a trip a few exits down I-4 to Sea World where Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin is only a few months from its May 24th Grand Opening date. From the Orlando Sentinel: “The entrance to Antarctica’s marquee ride is built into a rock-and-snow format that looks like a mother penguin and her nuzzling son. Penguins also are carved into the walls of an educational area nearby. Antarctica’s realm will have two entrances, both framed with glacial gateways. The larger one, on the south end of the property, faces Sea Lion & Otter Theater. The secondary one is near the Journey to Atlantis water ride. Sea World developed techniques about three years ago to make the snow-topped buildings shimmer with that magical and mysterious glow that Antarctic ice is known for.” Take a look at the aerial photos below. Also, check out Central Florida News 13’s photos from a ground tour they received a few days ago.
Now over to I-Drive for a look at the Fun Spot Orlando expansion. From the Fun Spot website: “Fun Spot Action Park is growing and changing. We have purchase 10 additional acres and we grow from 5 acres to 15. We are adding 2 roller coasters, one wood and one steel. We are getting a 250 ft SkyCoaster ride. We are adding a new track, new rides, and new food options. The 2 coasters will be ready by March 2013 when we will rename the park Fun Spot America.” Take a look at our aerial construction photos and compare to Fun Spot’s illustration to see what it will look like when it is done.
It’s time to zoom North out of the attractions area to Downtown Orlando where a new, world class performing arts center is under construction. In 1926, what is now known as the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre was built. In 2014, the brand new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will open just a few blocks away. Besides the fact that we needed to fix the miss spelling of the word “center”, this upgrade will truly give Orlando a cutting edge showcase for the best the performing arts world has to offer.
Here is a map and some concept art for the Dr. Phillips Center so you can see what it will become.