Universal Studios Hollywood Announces Food and Wine Festival!

Today Universal Hollywood announced that on March 19th and 20th they will be hosting a Food and Wine Festival. The only difference between this one and other theme park festivals is that Universal’s will be an after hours hard ticket event.

The event will start at 7pm each night and cost $179 to attend on each night. That price includes food tastings, beer, wine, live competitions and photo ops with Top Chef talent, live entertainment, merchandise, and a gift. For $300 you can get a VIP ticket that allows you access to Universal Studios starting at 12pm and preferred parking with VIP tasting with alumni from Top Chef or for $199 you can get a day and night combo ticket that starts at 12pm but does not include free parking and the special VIP experiences.

If you have not guessed already this event is themed to Bravo’s Top Chef and you will be able to taste some of their delicious meals all night long! Will you be attending this festival? Would you rather it be included in regular park admission like at California Adventure? Do you think what your getting is worth all that money? Let me know in the comments below!

Disney Reveals Dates For Upcoming Experiences In The Parks!

In somewhat of a surprise, Disney Parks Blog went live this evening and revealed a plethora of opening dates for expierences coming to Disney World in the very near future and I am going to break each of them down right here! Before we proceed please note that all photos and concept art are courtesy of Disney.

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

This attraction will be open at Hollywood Studios March 4th, 2020.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway rendering

Mickey Shorts Theater

Rendering of Mickey Shorts Theater coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This theater will be located in Hollywood Studios and will play Mickey Shorts from the Disney Channel animated series, “Mickey Mouse”.

Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser rendering

Disney revealed a new rendering of the Galactic Starcrusier (Star Wars Hotel) and revealed it is opening in 2021. Much more info can be found at this extensive video I made this evening specifically covering these three items.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Ride vehicle for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

This attraction will be opening in Summer 2020 in the France Pavilion at Epcot and Disney shared this new look at the ride vehicle and one of the scenes from the attraction. On this attraction you will be scurrying through Chef Gasteau’s restaurant.

Disney’s Ducktales World Showcase Adventure

Disney’s DuckTales World Showcase Adventure

This is an interactive game experience coming to the Play Disney Parks App that will have you joining all of the ducks in search of a priceless treasure. You will be going on several missions that will take you all around the World Showcase at Epcot.

New Circle-Vision Films to Debut at Epcot

Starting January 17th, 2020 three new films will debut at Epcot. The first will be called “Awesome Planet” and will be a ten minute long film showcasing the diversity of Planet Earth. The second film will be a “Beauty and The Beast Sing Along” and will be located in the France Pavilion. It is produced by Don Hahn who produced the Beauty and The Beast films and will invite guests on a journey on a tale as old as time. This new film will rotate with the “Impressions de France” film which is slated to receive an upgrade to 4K.

Collage of movie posters coming to Epcot

Space 220

Space 220 Restaurant Coming Soon to Epcot

Space 220 was supposed to be open by now, but was delayed until sometime this winter, most likely January based on job postings on Pantina’s website.

Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts and BBQ

Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue Coming Soon to Epcot

This is a brand new fast casual restaurant that will open at the American Adventure in Epcot this winter. It will obviously be serving BBQ style food and craft beer. This is somewhat of a surprise to me as I had no previous knowledge this restaurant was even in the planning stages.

Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant

Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant Coming Soon to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Lastly, Toy Story Land is finally getting the proper sit down restaurant it deserves next year at Hollywood Studios. This restaurant will also serve BBQ and have immersive indoor seating.

So what do you make of all these announcements? Will they entice you to start planning trips to Florida over the next year? Let me know in the comments below!

Universal Studios Hollywood Officially Announces Toothsome Emporium

Image result for toothsome chocolate emporium

Universal Studios Hollywood announced today that the Toothsome Emporium is set to take over the space occupied by Hard Rock Cafe and open in 2021. Hard Rock Cafe will be closing January 8th to begin the transition.

The restaurant will feature all of the goodies in the Orlando version and be two stories. It will also feature a gift shop, dessert bar, and all day brunch. Universal Citywalk over the past few years has undergone a massive overhaul including the opening of Margaritaville, Antijitos, Voodoo Doughnuts and more. New dining and retail options should be announced in the coming months as there are several more vacant spaces throughout the entertainment center.

What do you think of the Toothsome Emporium coming to Citywalk? I personally love chocolate so I am very excited for this new addition, but let me know in the comments below what you think about this recent change to Citywalk!

Hard Rock Cafe at Universal Citywalk Hollywood Set to Close January 8th

Universal Citywalk continues to go through major changes as the large and iconic Hard Rock Cafe is set to close at the beginning of January. It is rumored to be replaced by a Toothsome Emporium that is currently at Orlando’s Citywalk.

Photo courtesy of Inside Universal

Above is a picture of the Toothsome Emporium in Orlando and as you can see it is a two story full service restaurant with a large dessert section as well. There is also a gift shop attached. Have you been to the Emporium in Orlando? Are you excited for it to come to Hollywood? Let me know in the comments below!

Grinchmas To Begin on Thanksgiving at Universal Studios Hollywood

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Whoville Tree lit up at USH

It’s that time of the year again where the two holidays of Halloween and Christmas collide. Christmas decorations are already being set up at both Disney and Universal and now we are starting to get more information on Grinchmas with some pretty awesome news.

This awesome news is that this year Grinchmas will start on Thanksgiving Day and will run DAILY (instead of the previous just on weekends) through December 29th. Also starting at this time will be the Christmas at the Wizarding Wold of Harry Potter celebration with Christmas themed shows and entertainment including the ever popular projection show on Hogwarts Castle.

The holiday themed food and Hot Butterbeer will also be making a return and eveyr night at Universal Plaza there will be a Whoville themed lighting celebration to light the 55 foot Grinchmas Tree. As I have stated in previous articles about the holidays Christmas is my favorite time of the year at the SoCal parks and I am so excited to celebrate again this year!

What about all of you? Are you excited for Grinchmas this year? Let me know in the comments below and give this page a follow for constant holiday updates and footage!

Guests To Enter Universal Beijing Using Facial Recognition Tech

An awesome news story came out today via the website France 24 saying that guests who enter Universal Beijing will be able to use facial recognition technology instead of showing a ticket. The story also notes that the park is partnering with popular Chinese tech company Alibaba so that guests can use Alipay to purchase meals and merchandise.

I think this is fantastic news and is yet another sign of the theme park industry advancing every year implementing new technology into their parks and enhancing the guest experience in large and small ways. Universal is probably also thinking that this is a way to take a jab at Shanghai Disneyland and all of the fancy high tech rides they have over at that park.

Usually Disney and Universal use their international parks to test out new ride tech and new tech to enhance the guest experience. If successful these new ideas usually make there way to the domestic parks (ie: Tron Power Run) I would like to see facial recognition make its way to Universal and Disney parks in the United States and hopefully both companies start to implement this advanced tech into the parks in the coming years and completely take away the need for paper tickets.

What do you think of this new technology? Would you like to see Apple or a tech company partner with Disney or Universal and implement Apple Pay and facial recognition into the parks? Let me know in the comments below!

NBC Sports Grill and Brew Coming to CityWalk at Universal Hollywood in 2020!

nbc sports grill & brew
NBC Grill and Brew in Orlando courtesy of Attractions Magazine

Antijitos is now open at Universal CityWalk in Hollywood and now they have announced their next major addition that will be coming to the entertainment complex.

NBC Sports Grill and Brew (which is already at CityWalk Orlando) will be making its West Coast debut next year as Universal Hollywood aggressively continues to enhance and completely revamp CityWalk. The pub will feature three giant TV screens out front as well as over 100 HD TV’s inside the restaurant. The menu will consist of general pub and bar food and alcohol and will add to the energy and excitement of CityWalk. This should look very impressive and fit in at night when the rest of the complex lights up. Its location is great as well as it will be in the center of everything in the main plaza right next to Antijitos, Tony Romas, and Johnny Rockets.

I am very excited for new changes to CityWalk and personally cannot wait for this to open up sometime in the next few months. What do you guys think about this new addition? Do you like the new changes that are coming or have been made recently to CityWalk? Comment your thoughts down below!