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---- THE LATEST NEWS ----
(11/20/22) A Look Inside the Green & Red Coconut Club (MORE...)
(11/19/22) Universal Orlando Confirms Green & Red Coconut Club (MORE...)
(11/18/22) Universal Orlando Offering Mardi Gras Float Ride and Dine Package (MORE...)
(11/5/22) The Future of the Dead Coconut Club Has Changed (MORE...)
(11/2/22) First Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Haunt Announced (MORE...)
(10/24/22) Universal Orlando Reveals Dates and Expanded Theme For Mardi Gras 2023 (MORE...)
Volcano Bay Rehabs - These dates are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate as refurbishments are subject to change.
Nothing is known at this time...
Click Here to read the full Screamscape review of Halloween Horror Nights 29
VOLCANO BAY IS NOW OPEN - Read the official Screamscape Review!
LOWES Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando - Read the official Screamscape Review!
General Resort News - (11/18/22) Universal Orlando is offering up a unique Mardi Gras experience package you can take advantage of between Feb. 4th and April 16, 2023. They are calling this the Mardi Gras Float Ride and Dine Experience, and just like it sounds, the special package will include an appetizer, an entree, one dessert and one non-alcoholic beverage, as well as a Mardi Gras parade float rider reservation to use on the same day. Yes… you too can ride along on one of the parade floats and toss beads into the crowd!
Visit the official site for all the details!
(10/24/22) Universal Orlando has announced that their 2023 Mardi Gras event (Universal’s Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnival) will take place from February 4, 2023 through to April 16, 2023. As you might expect, there will be a new Mardi Gras Parade, lots of flood to try, with flavors ranging from the New Orleans style you would expect to new items from Brazil, Belgium and beyond. As before there will also be a series of concerts to perform on select nights, but that will be announced at a future date.
(10/1/22) With the passing of Hurricane Ian out of the state, many are wondering about the current status of the theme parks, and what may remain closed due to damage incurred.
Universal Orlando was happy to let everyone know that Halloween Horror Nights was back on the slate last night (Friday Night) in slightly limited form, as only those with existing tickets were allowed entry. Starting tonight (Saturday) all of the theme parks (USF, IOA and Volcano Bay) are said to be open to all, along with entry into Halloween Horror Nights in the evenings.
There are a couple of attractions at Islands of Adventure I’m not so sure about their operational status at the moment. The Jurassic Park River Adventure suffered from some extreme damage to the exterior of the building where the finale drop takes place. Pictures of the building were posted all over Facebook during the Hurricane leading to the jest that there was a containment breach at Jurassic Park and the dinosaurs may be roaming free.
In all seriousness however I’m assuming that the ride is currently closed. The damage appears to be mainly just to the external siding of the building, and provided that inspections confirm that all is well inside the building, they should be able to patch up that hole and reopen the attraction before too long. After all, the building was designed to contain a water ride and deal with issues like extreme wetness and moisture from top to bottom, so I’m not too concerned. Of course, they could take the opportunity from the downtime from the closure to perhaps give the attraction a “Jurassic World” update like what was done to the Hollywood version of the ride… but from everything I’ve heard that just isn’t in the cards right now.
The other attraction of concern is Incredible Hulk, as images of Hulk posted on social media after the storm had passed showed that the portion of the coaster that goes under the waterline had flooded, submerging the track in that area when the water level in the park’s lagoon rose over the barrier. Since then I believe the water level in the lagoon has gone back down, allowing pumps to clear the tunnel so they can properly inspect the track. If everything looks is good, I’m sure Hulk will return to action sooner than later.
I’ve also heard the status of Ripsaw Falls and Popeye may be questionable, as the water rides are always subject to damage as well as issues of debris getting in the flume that must be cleared out before they can turn on the water flow again. Elsewhere in the Universal Orlando resort, the water levels of the park’s river system also rose during the storm, so I’m unsure of the status of the water taxi system, or the availability of the walkways that run alongside the canals in some areas, as some were also reported to have been submerged during the storm.
(9/12/22) Universal Orlando is currently offering a new promotion to US and Canada residents to enjoy four days at the theme parks for the price of a 2-day ticket. This offer is good for travel through to March 2, 2023. Follow the link for the official details and different ticket offers.
(8/9/22) Many theme park fans have been following along with what happened at Knott’s Berry Farm (Cedar Fair) late last month. Following a night where several fights broke out, mostly between teenagers at the park, Knott’s put a new policy into place. The new policy now prevents anyone under 18 from visiting the park on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays unless they are with a parent or guardian (age 21+) who is with them the entire day.
While teens have of course not been happy with this, the overwhelming positive reaction from parents and other adult guests has been extremely supportive of the new policy. While I’ve been waiting to see how Cedar Fair might expand this policy as we quickly approach the busy Halloween season, I also had a feeling other park chains were also having their own internal discussions about making similar policy changes as well.
Jump to this week and Universal Orlando has now announced that guests under 21 will n ot be allowed to pass through their security checkpoint into the CityWalk area after 9pm unless they are accompanies by a parent, guardian or other family member over 21. The only exceptions to the rule was guests staying at one of the Universal Orlando Resort Hotels who can pass through by showing their room key card, or guests who have already pre-purchased a ticket to a movie at the Universal Cinemark theater. In the case of the movie theater, those underage ageas will be escorted directly to the theater, and those arriving under 21 will not be allowed through the security checkpoint to purchase tickets in person.
After 9pm, all guests found within CityWalk under the age of 18 will also be escorted back out of CityWalk by security personnel unless they are with a parent, guardians or other family member over 21 years old. Guests in CityWalk who are 18 to 21 will be allowed to remain in CityWalk after 9pm however.
Like Knott’s Berry Farm, these actions are being put into effect after fighting broke out between guests in CityWalk and into the Universal parking structures. How this will affect things at this year’s upcoming Halloween Horror Nights remains to be seen.
(7/26/22) I’m sorry if I’m late to the boat on this, but I’m not sure how well publicized this was before now. Looking over some aerial photos of Universal’s Volcano Bay waterpark I noticed something very different looking. At some point in the Spring of 2022 it looks like Universal decided to fill in the splash-down pool of the Kala & Tai Nui slides and replace it with a pair of runout troughs at the end instead. You can see the new “wedgie troughs” in the photo below from Bioreconstruct who also points out that the Ko’okiri slide (the one that goes straight down the volcano) has been untouched and still features a splash-down pool at the end.
Universal has had some issues with these slides since they opened being extremely intense. Having ridden them at the grand opening, I can confirm that the splash-down at the bottom was somewhat of a disorienting experience. Various changes have been tried since Kala & Tai Nui opened, including lowering the weight restriction from 300lbs to various lower-weights to try and slow things down in addition to adding along the bottom of the pool because some sliders were hitting the bottom.
It looks like with the addition of the new run-out troughs at the end they have been able to increase the weight restriction back up to the intended 300 pound limit once again.
Halloween Horror Nights 2023 - (11/2/22) Halloween Horror Nights may be over, but the crew isn’t messing around for 2023, because they’ve already announced the first new haunt for next year. If you caught it on social media, Halloween Horror Nights is proud to announce that an all new haunted house themed to “Chucky” will be featured next year in both the Orlando and Hollywood events.
2022/2023 - New CityWalk Developments - (11/20/22) One of our readers dropped into the opening night of the Green & Red Coconut Club and shot a quick video whiling walking around the new seasonal addition to Universal CityWalk. It’s funny to see how they even kept and re-themed some of the left-over Halloween decor to fit in with the Christmas cheer theme.
(11/19/22) Universal Orlando has confirmed the rumors about the debut of the “Green and Red Coconut Club”, which will be open in CityWalk on select nights between now and January 1st, 2023. “An imaginative seasonal transformation of the existing Red Coconut Club, The Green and Red Coconut Club offers immersive retro holiday décor and themes in every corner of the venue, including a cozy family living room complete with a traditional fireplace full of presents and rustic décor, a special area with tons of holiday figurines, and more. Guests can also enjoy live entertainment and a selection of new, holiday-inspired cocktails and mocktails.”
(11/5/22) Screamscape sources tell us that the success of the “Dead Coconut Club” concept in Universal CityWalk over the past two months during Halloween Horror Nights season may have put the Saturday Night Live / Comedy Club concept for the site on indefinite hold once again. Apparently the addition of a low priced theming overlay to the closed nightclub location along with a creative menu of holiday themed beverages (and collectible tiki glasses) mixed with some fun and theme appropriate live entertainment proved to be a huge hit for Universal Orlando.
You know the old saying, “Money talks” and from what I’m told, the Dead Coconut Club endeavor became a surprising highlight of income from the Halloween Horror Nights season. With what would be classified as a minimal investment to the location, it became highly profitable over the 2-month run, and now Universal management is looking to double-down and find a way to repeat this success all year long. But Halloween is over and it’s time to put the Monsters characters away for the next 10 months, so what’s next for the Red Coconut Club?
Earl. Yes, I said Earl. Earl the Squirrel, an experimental character and original Universal Orlando creation who became beloved by guests during last year’s Holiday season as he took over the theme of the Tribute Store for the holiday season and came to life as a walk-around character. The mention of the Tribute Store is no accident either, as the concept itself has become a runaway success for Universal throughout the past few years and now Universal is looking to apply this same concept to the Red Coconut Club going forward.
The Halloween decor will come down from the “Dead Coconut Club” and be replaced with an assortment of Christmas holiday season decor, along with Earl as the icon, and become the “Green & Red Coconut Club” for the remainder of the year. Assuming this concept maintains guest popularity status, look for it to transform once again in early 2023 into some kind of Mardi Gras theme, and then into some kind of Summer Celebration theme (they’re still working on it…) before returning for service as the Dead Coconut Club once again for HHN in September as a celebration of the Universal Monsters.
Or at least this is the business plan for the next year going forward. The continued use of the Universal Monsters is very important, as we’ve seen Universal Orlando experiment with a number of Universal Monsters concepts over the past year. While the Monster Cafe restaurant was closed to make way for an upcoming Minions concept, we’ve seen Universal use the Monsters theming as a Tribute store concept of its own in the Revenge of the Mummy gift shop during the ride’s lengthy rehab in 2022. Management has been experimenting with the various ways to use, market and sell the Universal Monsters to the modern day audience ahead of the opening of an entire Universal Monsters land at the Epic Universe theme park in 2025. According to the tale, management wasn’t expecting much from the Dead Coconut Club and were bowed over by the success and guest response to the project that was clear as of the very first weekend.
(6/18/22) After being rumored for several years now, Universal Orlando finally confirmed a few days ago that “Universal’s Great Movie Escape” will open this Fall at Citywalk. The new escape room experience will feature two adventures when it opens, themed to Juassic World and Back to the Future. The new attraction logo has already been added to the front of the former Groove nightclub location.
(5/8/22) Screamscape sources tell us that the Universal themed Escape Room attraction is still in the works for CityWalk, but has experienced some project delays. They are still hoping to get it open just before the end of the year if they can.
(1/15/22) Is Universal Orlando taking the next step to opening their own Escape Room attraction inside the former Groove nightclub location? Apparently work permits for a “Project 235” in CityWalk have been filed to begin work on “Phase 2 Interior and Exterior Renovations” following a previous work permit that was for “Interior Demolition”.
For years now we’ve been following the breadcrumbs that indicated Universal was working towards opening their own highly themed Escape Room attractions, which opens the gates to a lot of fun possible ideas in terms of themes. While anyone can make their own custom themed Escape Rooms, only Universal could bring you Escape Room concepts themed to classic Universal IP’s like Back to the Future, Jurassic World, Jaws and many more.
Even more interesting might be the chance to bring back concepts from retired Universal Orlando attractions. For example, think back to Back to the Future: The Ride and how Doc was trapped in his lab while Biff took the Time Machine for a joy ride. Care to relive this experience, but from inside Doc’s Lab? Who’s ready to escape from the Jurassic Park Operations Center during the original “incident” where the dinosaurs got loose? Or in a fun cross-over, escape from the underwater tunnels (at SeaWorld??) under siege from a giant shark as seen in the climax of Jaws 3. Well… maybe not the SeaWorld part, but the idea could be a lot of fun regardless.
(12/16/21) Remember those rumors about how The Groove was gone for good and soon to be replaced by a new Escape Room style experience? Last we heard was that work to transform The Groove would be the first of the new projects to get moving, and this now seems to be the case. A construction wall is now up around the entrance to the building and The Groove sign has now been removed from the building.
(10/23/21) In an article that goes over some of Screamscape’s latest rumors for upcoming CityWalk projects, Orlando Weekly adds a great point that I missed. The rumored “Beer Garden” we heard that was on-deck to replace the current Legacy Store could very well be a new “Wubei Craft Food and Beer” location. Universal developed this new upscale beer garden concept to open first in CityWalk at the brand new Universal Studios Beijing complex and if it proves to be a hit, it would be easy to see Universal bringing a clone or a similar concept to Florida.
Orlando Weekly also recalled how Universal had been dreaming about ways to bring a beer garden to CityWalk for some time now. Guest surveys in 2017 that also included ideas for the rumored Escape Room concept, also described a concept for a German themed beer hall that could have taken over the Emeril’s location. Instead we saw Emeri’s become the awesome BIGFIRE restaurant with a bar that focuses on specialty Whisky, Bourbon and Vodka cocktails, so dropping a fancy Beer Gardens next door sure wont take anything away from that.
(10/10/21) Universal fans, take the time to enjoy the “Legacy Store” in CityWalk while you can, as I’m told that it is only temporary and will eventually make way for another new concept. If the rumors are true, Screamscape has heard that the Legacy Store will eventually make way for some kind of new “Beer Garden” themed eatery. More on this as we find out.
(10/3/21) Remember that rumor about the next projects coming to CityWalk at Universal Orlando? Screamscape sources tell us that they are indeed moving forward with plans to add the rumored Escape Room and Comedy Club attractions there. We don't have a timeline however, and it seems very possible that one may open before the other at the moment, with the Escape Rooms taking the lead here. We did get a fun note about the Comedy Club concept however, as our source confirmed that Saturday Night Live theming would indeed be involved in that project, which may be partly the reason it could take a bit longer to bring to life.
(8/31/21) Is another wave of new projects being planned for Universal Orlando’s Citywalk? According to a Screamscape source, this may very well be the case, which means plans may be underway to shutter a few old Citywalk locations to make room. But what if I told you that the locations may have already been closed, shut down during the early days of the pandemic, and have yet to reopen?
Currently the Red Coconut Club and The Groove are both closed until further notice. The official Universal Orlando App only lists them as being temporarily closed, but you really have to know where to look to find any mention of them at all on the Universal Orlando website right now.
While plans are always subject to change, our source tells us that the plan right now would be to transform the Red Coconut Club into a new Comedy Club of some kind, while The Groove will be transformed into some kind of high-end Escape Room attraction concept. For long time readers, these plans may sound a little familiar. We’ve heard on and off for years now that Universal Orlando had been looking into ways to get into the Escape Room business where they could use their various IPs as official themed for the games. Back in 2018 Universal went so far as to file trademark paperwork for the name, “Universal’s Great Movie Escape” with the description of use being used for “Entertainment services in the nature of escape room attractions.” A quick fact check… Universal still owns the active Trademark to this name even now.
As for the Comedy Club… ever since NBC joined with Universal Studios there has long been a desire for the theme park resort to somehow add some kind of attraction that could make sure of the Saturday Night Live comedy brand. As such, more than a few comedy clubs and comedy themed attraction concepts have been drawn up and shelved over the years in an effort to scratch this comedic itch. While I’m not saying for sure that they may use the SNL branding for the final product, Universal has done a lot of research into the concept of adding a comedy club to Citywalk over the years for possible use in other locations, including as an alternate concept for Citywalk’s Rising Star location. And another quick note… for those wondering, while The Groove and Red Coconut are currently listed as closed, Rising Star is open for business, so it isn’t going anywhere.
So the next time you’re walking through Citywalk, it may be worth keeping an eye on these two locations, because it seems change is coming.
Future Expansion Site / 3rd Theme Park - (8/3/19) Universal’s EPIC UNIVERSE was announced as the name of their next theme park coming to Orlando. All information and history about the rumors and development of this project have now been moved to an official EPIC UNIVERSE page for future reporting. Head on over and check out our complete breakdown about what was announced and what we think we know about this new park based on all concept artwork compared to the various rumors. (CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE NEWS ON EPIC UNIVERSE)