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!

Universal Orlando Has an Opening Date for its Next Hotel

Universal today announced the opening date for the second half of the Endless Summer Resort to be called Dockside Inn and Suites.

Sunset Lounge
Concept art provided by Universal

This hotel will when open complete the Endless Summer Resort at Universal Orlando and it will be the eighth hotel within the resort and according to Universal this is just the beginning as they plan to add another 2,000 plus rooms in the coming years.

Dockside Inn and Suites is a 2,050 room hotel and will be affordable for everyone with rooms starting at $85 a night. The hotel will open March 17th, 2020 and be right across the street from the first phase, Surfside Inn and Suites.

Anyone staying at either hotel will get perks such as free transportation to the Universal Transit Hub and Citywalk, early entry into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and the ability to charge merchandise to your room at Citywalk.

Will you be staying in this resort next time you visit Universal Orlando? Let me know in the comments below!

Grinchmas To Begin on Thanksgiving at Universal Studios Hollywood

Image result for grinchmas
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!

Universal Studios Hollywood to Test New VR Experience in CityWalk

Hello and welcome back to Theme Park Wizard if you are living in Southern California then please stay safe from the strong winds and as of this writing five fires throughout our region.

Universal Studios Hollywood will be trying to compete with Downtown Disney and get its own new VR experience in Citywalk starting October 14th and going through November 7th. This is a partnership between Universal Pictures, Ford Motor Company, and Holoride.

During this experience guests are loaded on to the back of Ford 2020 Explorer cars and will take a 5-7 min drive by a professional driver. The interesting twist of this drive is that it will be through the dark world of Frankenstein. Riders will be using Oculus Headsets to experience this attraction. The best part is that this limited time attraction is free and all you have to do is sign up for a free reservation on their website.

So what do you guys think of this new experience coming to Citywalk? Will you be signing up and giving it a try during this month trial period? Let me know in the comments below!