Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsUniversal Orlando
IN THE NEWS

Universal Orlando

FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
January 25, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Universal Orlando will debut the "Cinematic Spectacular" nighttime water show this spring as part of a new entertainment lineup at the Florida theme park that includes an upgrade to one ride, a re-theme of another attraction and the addition of a nightly parade. PHOTOS: New attractions coming to Universal Orlando this spring and summer "Cinematic Spectacular" will celebrate a century of Universal Studios movie memories with a nighttime water show that features film clips projected on 30-foot-by-30-foot waterfall screens and colorful fountains that rocket 100 feet into the air along with laser lights and pyrotechnic displays on the Orlando theme park's central lagoon.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
May 9, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
After a year of construction, Universal Orlando  has finally admitted that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will expand in 2014 with a detailed re-creation of London's Diagon Alley from the wildly popular series of books and movies. Photos: Top 10 Wizarding World of Harry Potter rides and attractions The highly anticipated expansion of the Wizarding World themed land at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Fla., will see the introduction of a Gringotts Bank attraction in a second land at the adjacent Universal Studios Florida theme park.
Advertisement
BUSINESS
October 21, 2009 | Ben Fritz and Claudia Eller
In a move that spares Universal Orlando theme parks from a potential financial jam next year, Steven Spielberg has agreed to delay by seven years his option to demand a payout worth hundreds of millions of dollars under the terms of his long-standing consulting agreement. The amended deal will make it easier for the company to renegotiate a heavy debt load that comes due in April and could ultimately net the director more money than he otherwise would have received. As part of the agreement signed in 1987 with Universal Orlando, a joint venture between General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal and private equity firm Blackstone Group, Spielberg in perpetuity receives 2% of ticket sales and a portion of gross revenue from concession sales at the two Florida theme parks.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2013 | By Randy Lewis and Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times
First they put a lid on it, and now they're pulling the plug. Universal City's Gibson Amphitheatre, a fixture on the Southern California live music scene for more than 40 years, will close in September and be demolished to make room for the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios theme park, officials announced Wednesday. The announcement came a day after Universal Studios Hollywood won approval from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to begin construction on its planned $1.6-billion expansion of the theme park.
NEWS
May 9, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
After a year of construction, Universal Orlando  has finally admitted that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will expand in 2014 with a detailed re-creation of London's Diagon Alley from the wildly popular series of books and movies. Photos: Top 10 Wizarding World of Harry Potter rides and attractions The highly anticipated expansion of the Wizarding World themed land at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Fla., will see the introduction of a Gringotts Bank attraction in a second land at the adjacent Universal Studios Florida theme park.
BUSINESS
November 7, 2001 | Associated Press
The president of Universal Studios' Orlando theme park operations was fired in a reorganization of the company's largest theme park property. Felix Mussenden had been president and chief operating officer of Universal Orlando for two years. Universal spokesman Jim Canfield said Mussenden was leaving the company "by mutual agreement to pursue other interests." Canfield said he didn't know Mussenden's immediate plans.
BUSINESS
January 15, 2002 | Richard Verrier
As part of an ambitious campaign to show off its theme parks and emerge from the shadow of Mickey Mouse, Universal Orlando will have its first Super Bowl spot. With a "vacation from the ordinary" theme, the 60-second spot will tout Universal's two Orlando theme parks and hotels. The ad is set to run during the third quarter of the Super Bowl on Fox.
BUSINESS
March 16, 2011 | By Jason Garcia and Jeff Weiner
Private equity firm Blackstone Group is looking to unload its stake in Universal Orlando, triggering a chain of events that could put the entire resort ? which is in the midst of its most impressive financial run ever ? on the auction block. Blackstone has offered to sell its half of the resort to co-owner NBCUniversal, the media and entertainment conglomerate that was acquired in January by Comcast Corp. NBCUniversal has until June 12 to accept the offer and buy out the private equity firm.
BUSINESS
June 7, 2011 | By Meg James, Los Angeles Times
NBCUniversal has agreed to pay private equity firm Blackstone Group $1 billion to acquire its 50% stake in the Orlando, Fla., theme parks, giving the media giant full control of the venture. The assets include Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk. Comcast Corp.-controlled NBCUniversal already owns all of the Los Angeles-based Universal Studios complex. The agreement between NBCUniversal and Blackstone, which has owned half the Florida parks for more than a decade, places the enterprise value of the Florida attractions at $3.17 billion, the company said in a statement.
TRAVEL
August 19, 2007 | Jane Engle; Mary E. Forgione; Catharine Hamm; Sara Benson
Disney dollars The Mouse wants more cheese. Walt Disney World in Florida has raised admission prices for the third time in less than two years. Its one-day, one-park tickets now cost $71 for adults and $60 for children ages 3 to 9, plus taxes. Universal Orlando matched the $4 increase. (For both parks, you'll pay less per day if you buy multiday passes, and Universal also discounts tickets bought online.
NEWS
May 8, 2012 | by Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Universal Orlando's salute to 100 years of filmmaking history replays more than 200 clips from the movie studio's vault on a watery canvas in the theme park's lagoon. PHOTOS: New attractions coming to Universal Orlando Creative Director Michael Aiello and his team at Universal Entertainment spent two years culling the studio's archives down to 18 minutes for " Universal's Cinematic Spectacular ," the new nighttime water show officially debuting Tuesday at the Florida theme park.
BUSINESS
December 7, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
After defeating Voldemort and his Death Eaters in seven bestselling books and eight hit movies, Harry Potter is taking on perhaps his greatest challenge yet: boosting the Los Angeles economy. Universal Studios on Tuesday took the wraps off plans to build a Southern California version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which drove a 68% increase in attendance at its Orlando theme park during the first three months of the year compared with the same period in 2010. Ron Meyer, Universal's president, said his company would spend "several hundred million dollars" to create the attraction, which is expected to include a re-creation of Hogwarts Castle along with Potter-themed rides, shops and restaurants.
BUSINESS
December 1, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
Hogwarts is coming to Hollywood. Universal Studios is planning to build a replica of its successful Florida Harry Potter attraction in Los Angeles, said people familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss it publicly. A contract between Comcast Corp.-owned Universal and Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros., which made the "Harry Potter" movies and controls licensing rights to author J.K. Rowling's books about the boy wizard, is being finalized and should be complete within the next few weeks, the people said.
NEWS
September 21, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Universal Studios Orlando will feature eight haunted mazes, six scare zones and two live shows at Halloween Horror Nights 21. > Photos: Halloween Horror Nights 21 at Universal Studios Orlando Universal Orlando's Horror Nights has been voted the best Halloween theme park event for the past four consecutive years by Amusement Today, an industry trade publication. Lady Luck, the icon for the Florida theme park's 2011 event, will transform each night from a tempting seductress to a bloodthirsty beast.
BUSINESS
June 7, 2011 | By Meg James, Los Angeles Times
NBCUniversal has agreed to pay private equity firm Blackstone Group $1 billion to acquire its 50% stake in the Orlando, Fla., theme parks, giving the media giant full control of the venture. The assets include Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk. Comcast Corp.-controlled NBCUniversal already owns all of the Los Angeles-based Universal Studios complex. The agreement between NBCUniversal and Blackstone, which has owned half the Florida parks for more than a decade, places the enterprise value of the Florida attractions at $3.17 billion, the company said in a statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times
Universal Studios Orlando on Thursday announced plans to retheme its Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast attraction with a new " Despicable Me " story line, and to digitally refresh the Amazing Adventures ofSpider-Man motion-simulator ride for 2012. With no new attractions set for 2011, Universal continues to ride the "Wizarding World" wave of Pottermania, which has helped drive up attendance at the tandemFlorida theme parks by an astonishing 68% so far this year.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2013 | By Randy Lewis and Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times
First they put a lid on it, and now they're pulling the plug. Universal City's Gibson Amphitheatre, a fixture on the Southern California live music scene for more than 40 years, will close in September and be demolished to make room for the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios theme park, officials announced Wednesday. The announcement came a day after Universal Studios Hollywood won approval from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to begin construction on its planned $1.6-billion expansion of the theme park.
BUSINESS
March 16, 2011 | By Jason Garcia and Jeff Weiner
Private equity firm Blackstone Group is looking to unload its stake in Universal Orlando, triggering a chain of events that could put the entire resort ? which is in the midst of its most impressive financial run ever ? on the auction block. Blackstone has offered to sell its half of the resort to co-owner NBCUniversal, the media and entertainment conglomerate that was acquired in January by Comcast Corp. NBCUniversal has until June 12 to accept the offer and buy out the private equity firm.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|