Today, Universal Orlando Resort and USA TODAY, the nation’s top-selling print newspaper, partnered to provide the first-ever augmented reality map of the world’s most highly anticipated theme park experience – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. With just a computer, webcam and the newspaper, you can make this one-of-a-kind experience appear before your eyes.
Augmented Reality blends real-life environments with computer animation allowing you to explore things in a completely new way. For the first time, guests can explore The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in a unique way – before experiencing it first hand.
By rotating the map, you can take a closer look at this 20-acre magnificently themed environment from all sides and angles. Hogwarts castle will appear before your eyes. Hold the map closer to your webcam and explore Hogsmeade and see the Hogwarts Express. Blow on your computer’s microphone and the banners n the map will wave.
Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will provide visitors with a one-of-a-kind experience complete with multiple themed attractions, shops and a restaurant.
Following the map’s appearance in USA TODAY, this experience will be available on www.UniversalOrlando.com/HarryPotter.
The video below shows a sample of the online experience courtesy of Orlando Attractions Magazine.
‘Ollivanders Wand Shop’ Will Deliver Interactive, Magical Experience at Wizard World of Harry Potter
Visitors to the Ollivanders wand shop at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando will step into one of the most iconic scenes from the bestselling Harry Potter books and blockbuster feature films. With the assistance of a live actor, along with amazing special effects, guests of Ollivanders will get to experience the same type of magical moment Harry had in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” when a wand ”chooses them.”
“When guests visit Ollivanders, they will instantly feel like they’re in the shop from the films. It’s an intimate, single-windowed building, with the same signs, colors and other details read about in the books and seen in the films,” said Alan Gilmore, art director of the Harry Potter films and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. “But more importantly, visitors to Ollivanders will experience for themselves the magical moment that forever changed Harry’s life.”
Inside Ollivanders, visitors will be surrounded by thousands of multi-colored dusty wand boxes stacked on shelves from floor to ceiling. They will be welcomed by an inquisitive Wandkeeper, who will guide them through an enchanting experience to find their very own wand. First the Wandkeeper will ask the guest a few special questions and then select the first wand for them to try. Just like Harry, the guest will be prompted by the Wandkeeper to give the wand a wave, and a series of magical mishaps will occur until the right fit is found.
In addition to the magic featured in Ollivanders, guests will experience many other magical happenings at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including a Howler featured in the Owl Post shop front window whose ranting can be heard by guests as they pass by; The Monster Book of Monsters in Dervish and Banges that will snarl and growl at anyone who tries to get too close, and the Hog’s Head which can be seen puffing his jowls at visitors who visit the Hog’s Head pub.
Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters – and faithful to the visual landscapes of the Warner Bros.’ films – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure will provide visitors with a one-of-a-kind experience complete with multiple themed attractions, shops and an eating establishment. This completely immersive environment will transcend generations and bring the wonder and magic of the amazingly detailed Harry Potter books and films to life.
Although still very much a work in progress, the magnificence of Hogwarts castle is beginning to take shape above Hogsmeade as work continues on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Hogwarts will be the home of a thrilling, new, state-of-the-art attraction – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – that uses ground-breaking technology to bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life in ways never before experienced. Set to open in Spring 2010 only at Universal Orlando Resort, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will feature multiple themed attractions, shops and a restaurant.
On February 6, Universal Orlando Resort will kick off its 15th year of Mardi Gras – the biggest and most authentic Mardi Gras celebration outside of New Orleans. Guests will experience the spirit of Bourbon St. in the heart of Universal Studios, with festivities including live concerts by artists like Flo Rida, Sheryl Crow and Chicago, authentic Cajun cuisine, a spectacular parade and tons of beads.
With a combined total of more than half a billion records sold worldwide, this year’s Mardi Gras lineup features an eclectic mix of 13 of the biggest names in music. From hip-hop to pop, country to rock, and R&B to disco, there will be something for everyone. Along with Flo Rida, Sheryl Crow and Chicago, Mardi Gras guests will enjoy live performances by headliners like “The Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin, country sensation Dierks Bentley, hip-hop artist Akon, multi-platinum selling rock band 3 Doors Down and the No. 1 selling American band of all time, Beach Boys.
In addition to seeing top-name talent perform on the main stage, guests can also visit Universal’s very own “French Quarter” – a replica of the New Orleans’ famed district – and groove to the authentic bayou sounds of bands directly from New Orleans.
To commemorate this special year, guests will enjoy a heritage-themed Mardi Gras parade featuring new colorful renditions of floats from past year’s events. Universal worked with New Orleans-based Blaine Kern Artists, Inc. to incorporate new elements into some of the most memorable floats in the event’s history. The twelve vibrant floats will cruise the streets of Universal Studios during the festivities, filled with riders tossing beads by the handful to excited park guests.
Guests will also enjoy the aroma and taste of authentic Cajun cuisine – such as jambalaya, gumbo, beignets and king cake – along with hundreds of costumed characters and stilt walkers dancing and mingling in the streets. Party-goers will also enjoy Universal Studios’ most popular attractions, including the all-new Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit – a radically-innovative roller coaster that combines hit music, first-ever maneuvers and highly-sophisticated audio and video for a one-of-a-kind ride experience.
One Grand Prize winner will receive round-trip airfare to Orlando for a 5 day/4 night stay with hotel accommodations, a special Family Reunion VIP Party, a special behind-the-scenes experience at a major theme park, two one day passes to the winner’s choice of Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando or Sea World and one day admission to two other area attractions.
Five runner-ups will receive a 4 day/3 night vacation for four in Orlando with hotel accommodations and car rental along with two one day passes to the winner’s choice of Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando or Sea World.
There will also be a third prize winner in each state who will receive a $100 gift card from Pizza Hut
Sweepstakes ends November 28. For additional information and to enter, visit Pizza Hut Reunion
ORLANDO, Fla. (November 18, 2009) – Universal Orlando Resort will soon kick off the largest Holidays celebration in the event’s history, featuring more entertainment than ever before. This year, Universal Orlando adds a brand-new Holiday Concert Series, featuring three chart-topping holiday musical acts – Mannheim Steamroller, Chris Isaak and Natalie Cole – to the already beloved Grinchmas celebration and the Macy’s Holiday Parade.
Holiday celebrations at Universal Orlando Resort begin Dec. 5 and run through Jan. 1, and all entertainment is included in the price of regular admission. Mannheim Steamroller – the iconic holiday music masters who have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide – performs at Universal Studios on Dec. 5. Chris Isaak performs on Dec. 12 and Natalie Cole performs on Dec. 19. Each concert begins at 7:00 p.m.
The Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios features the world-renowned balloons and floats from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. At Islands of Adventure, the popular Dr. Seuss book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” is brought to life in Grinchmas, a live stage show featuring an original recorded musical score by Mannheim Steamroller.
The celebration continues at the three on-site hotels at Universal Orlando– Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort – all of which will glisten with holiday decorations. Hotel guests will be immersed in the spirit of the season with tree-lighting ceremonies, special musical performances, holiday “dive-in” movie presentations and holiday dining events.
Guests can bid an exciting farewell to 2009 while rocking into 2010 at Universal CityWalk. Tickets are on sale now for one of Orlando’s hottest New Year’s Eve parties – featuring live performances by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Temptations and The Four Tops.
Tickets are on sale now for one of Orlando’s hottest New Year’s Eve parties – featuring live performances by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Temptations and The Four Tops. The Temptations and The Four Tops are two of the most popular R&B/soul groups of all time. Both have sold tens of millions of albums worldwide. Some of The Temptations’ most popular hits include “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone;” The Four Tops are known for such hit songs as “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There.”
In addition to grooving to the sounds of The Temptations and The Four Tops, New Year’s Eve guests will enjoy a street-wide celebration, with live entertainment and DJ’s in CityWalk’s hottest clubs such as CityWalk’s Rising Star, Red Coconut Club and Pat O’Brien’s. An all-you-can-eat gourmet menu will also be available, featuring cuisine such as filet mignon, jumbo shrimp, desserts and more. And when the clock strikes midnight, guests will welcome the New Year with party favors, confetti bursts and a champagne toast.
Tickets for Universal CityWalk’s New Year’s Eve celebration include all-night admission to CityWalk clubs, all-you-can-eat gourmet cuisine, access to The Temptations and The Four Tops live performances and the midnight champagne toast. Tickets are $119.99 plus tax per person if purchased by December 27. From December 28 to December 31, the price increases to $129.99 plus tax per person. Special discounts are available for Annual Passholders. For more information about New Year’s Eve at Universal CityWalk, or to purchase tickets, visit www.citywalkorlando.com or call Universal CityWalk Guest Services at (407) 224-2690.
Yesterday, we brought you details of the Universal Orlando’s plans to debut the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter in spring 2010. Today we are pleased to bring you the following gallery of concept art for the new theme park area based on the JK Rowling series. All images © 2009 Universal Orlando Resort. All Rights Reserved.
ORLANDO, Fla. (September 15, 2009) – Universal Orlando Resort, together with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, today revealed first-ever details about the incredible scope of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Universal also announced that the highly anticipated land will open in spring 2010.
Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters – and faithful to the visual landscapes of the films – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure will provide visitors with a one-of-a-kind experience complete with multiple attractions, shops and a signature eating establishment. This completely immersive environment will transcend generations and bring the wonder and magic of the amazingly detailed Harry Potter books and films to life.
The expectations of Harry Potter fans are high and Universal Orlando Resort is collaborating closely with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and the Warner Bros. Harry Potter brand team to ensure that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be an experience of a lifetime. The Harry Potter films’ production designer, Stuart Craig and art director, Alan Gilmore, in cooperation with a corps of artisans from Universal Creative are working daily to construct the most authentic Harry Potter experience possible. Guests will be able to sip Butterbeer in Three Broomsticks, buy Extendable Ears at Zonko’s and experience a state-of-the-art attraction that brings the stories of Harry Potter to life in a way never before imagined.
“All of the action and adventures of Harry Potter’s world will come to life here at Universal Orlando Resort,” said Tom Williams, chairman and CEO, Universal Parks and Resorts. “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be unlike any other experience on earth and we can’t wait to see the looks on our guests’ faces as they enter this rich environment.”
“Harry Potter continues to spark the imaginations of fans of all ages and we really have seen the anticipation continue to build for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” added Brad Globe, President, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “We are excited to share with fans a first glimpse into the truly enchanted world we are bringing to life with all of our partners at Universal Orlando Resort.”
From the front archway of Hogsmeade to the immensity of Hogwarts castle, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will feature the locations listed below:
Orlando, Fla. – Universal Studios Florida will become Orlando’s hottest spot for Christian rock and entertainment as Rock the Universe 2009 takes center stage on September 11 and 12. Tickets are on sale now for guests to experience an action-packed weekend of fun and fellowship – complete with live performances by 14 mega-talented artists, testimonies by celebrity guest speakers and thrilling rides and attractions. Plus, for the first time, guests who purchase the “Rock Your Weekend” ticket can experience more music than ever before with access to bonus Sunday concerts.
With a combined total of more than 65 GMA Dove Awards, this year’s Rock the Universe lineup includes some of Christian music’s most talented artists. Guests will enjoy the uplifting sounds of musicians such as MSN 2006 Artist of the Year David Crowder Band, 17-time Christian Singles Billboard chart-topper Jeremy Camp, multi-platinum selling band Casting Crowns and three-time Grammy Award winner Third Day.