Universal Orlando News Roundup - May 2016

May 12, 2016

A lot has happened at Universal Orlando Resort in the last few weeks. In this post, we take a look at the new rooms at Loews Royal Pacific Resort, explore announcements for Rock the Universe 2016 and Halloween Horror Nights 26, and update you on the progress of Skull Island Reign of Kong, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen, and Volcano Bay.

New Guest Rooms at Loews Royal Pacific Resort

The newly renovated guest rooms at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando were unveiled a few days ago. The new rooms are meant to embody the Golden Age of Travel. They have a distinct South Pacific theme and dรฉcor inspired by concepts like romance, luxury, and adventure.

The new rooms certainly are different than the old ones - from the bedding and bathrooms to the color palette. The main focal point of each room is a colorful wall graphic that features flora and fauna of the South Pacific. These graphics are done in colors like pink, purple, and yellow. Other color accents around the room include gray and charcoal, sandy neutrals, and bright colors like turquoise and tangerine. 

We think that the new look is a definite improvement over the old one. You can take a video tour of the new Royal Pacific rooms to see for yourself or visit our Guide to Royal Pacific Resort to see pictures of the new rooms and learn what it is like to stay at this hotel.     

 Standard room at Loews Royal Pacific Resort (with king bed). Image credit: Universal Orlando Resort.

Standard room at Loews Royal Pacific Resort (with king bed). Image credit: Universal Orlando Resort.

Rock the Universe Concert Line-Up

Universal Orlando Resort recently announced the concert line-up for Rock the Universe, the annual Christian music festival held in Universal Studios Florida. The 2016 event will take place on September 9 and September 10. The Rock the Universe concert lineup is as follows:

Friday, September 9

  • Skillet (Headliner)
  • Jeremy Camp (Headliner)
  • Matt Maher (Headliner)
  • Rend Collective
  • KB
  • Lauren Daigle
  • Finding Favour
  • DJ Promote

Saturday, September 10

  • Lecrae (Headliner)
  • TobyMac (Headliner)
  • Colton Dixon (Headliner)
  • Family Force 5
  • Andy Mineo
  • NF
  • I Am They
  • DJ Promote
 Lecrae is slated to perform at Rock the Universe. Image credit: Universal Orlando Resort.

Lecrae is slated to perform at Rock the Universe. Image credit: Universal Orlando Resort.

Halloween Horror Nights 26

Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) is Universal Orlando's annual Halloween event. This year is the 26th year of the event; it will take place on select nights from September 16, 2016 through October 31, 2016. The dates are as follows:

HHN September Dates

  • September 16, 17, 18
  • September 22, 23, 24, 25
  • September 29, 30

HHN October Dates

  • October 1, 2
  • October 6, 7, 8, 9
  • October 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
  • October 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
  • October 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
 Tickets for Halloween Horror Nights 26 are on sale now. Image credit: Universal Orlando Resort.

Tickets for Halloween Horror Nights 26 are on sale now. Image credit: Universal Orlando Resort.

Two HHN 26 houses have been announced so far. The first is a tent-based maze modeled after the iconic Texas farmhouse in the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre movie. The maze will guide you past Leatherface's kills - or what remains of them - before bringing you face to face with the "masked" madman himself. This will be the first HHN house based on the 1974 version of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

The second announced house is based on the 1973 movie The Exorcist. This maze will be in a soundstage. The Universal Orlando Resort press release promises that the maze will feature every "levitating, head-spinning, vomit-wrenching, skin-crawling moment from the film".

A third house has also been teased, but not officially announced. The codename for this project, which will be an original house rather than an IP-based house, is COBWEB. Have fun speculating!

 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is coming to Halloween Horror Nights 26. Image credit: Universal Orlando Resort. 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is coming to Halloween Horror Nights 26. Image credit: Universal Orlando Resort. 

Construction Updates

Universal Orlando Resort has quite a few new projects in the works, including Skull Island: Reign of Kong (new ride), The Incredible Hulk Coaster (refurbish project), Toothsome Chocolate Factory and Savory Feast Emporium (new restaurant), Volcano Bay (new waterpark), Sapphire Falls (new hotel), Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon (new ride), and Fast and Furious: Supercharged (new ride). You can read more about all of these projects on our Coming Soon to Universal Orlando page.  

Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Skull Island: Reign of Kong is scheduled to open this summer. Construction is complete. The ride is currently undergoing testing in preparation for opening day. The VIP media preview for Skull Island: Reign of Kong is scheduled for June 22-24, 2016. Many people believe that there will be a soft opening prior to these dates, but no official announcement has been made. The construction walls are still around the Kong area; the ride will definitely not open until these walls come down. Read more about Skull Island: Reign of Kong.

 Skull Island: Reign of Kong is still surrounded by construction walls. 

Skull Island: Reign of Kong is still surrounded by construction walls. 

The Incredible Hulk Coaster

The Incredible Hulk Coaster, one of the original rides in Universal's Islands of Adventure, has been closed for refurbishments since September of 2015. The first pieces of the new track were installed in January of 2016, and the final piece of the new track was installed on April 5, 2016. 

On May 9, Universal Orlando Resort released some of the highly anticipated details of the changes that were made to The Incredible Hulk Coaster. The most notable include a new marquee, a revised storyline, a redesigned queue, an original ride score, and sleek new ride vehicles. Read more about The New Incredible Hulk Coaster to get all of the details and find out when this ride is scheduled to open. 

 The newly designed marquee for The Incredible Hulk Coaster. Image credit: Universal Orlando Resort. 

The newly designed marquee for The Incredible Hulk Coaster. Image credit: Universal Orlando Resort. 

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen

In March of 2016, Universal Orlando Resort announced the new restaurant slated to replace NBA City in Universal CityWalk Orlando in the fall of this year. The announced name was Toothsome Chocolate Factory and Savory Feast Emporium. That name has since been changed to Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen. Construction on this restaurant is progressing nicely. You can see the steampunk theme starting to take shape when you view the exterior. We'll keep you posted as new developments emerge.

 Some of the shakes that will be available at the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen. Image credit: Universal Orlando Resort.

Some of the shakes that will be available at the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen. Image credit: Universal Orlando Resort.

Volcano Bay

In May of 2015, Universal Orlando Resort announced plans to build a water theme park called Volcano Bay. Construction is underway on-site in a space located next door to Cabana Bay Beach Resort. The skeleton of a large structure, presumably the centerpiece volcano, is in the process of being erected. A large blue slide and a large green slide are also being put together piece by piece. It looks like we can expect a lot more on this 34-acre site in the near future.

 Artist rendering of the centerpiece volcano in Volcano Bay. Image credit: Universal Orlando Resort.

Artist rendering of the centerpiece volcano in Volcano Bay. Image credit: Universal Orlando Resort.

Other Projects

Finishing touches are being put on Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal Orlando's newest on-site hotel. Sapphire Falls will open July 14, 2016. Reservations are currently being accepted. Read more about staying at Sapphire Falls

Construction is also still underway for Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon and Fast and Furious: Supercharged. Both rides are scheduled to open in Universal Studios Florida in 2017.

 The construction wall around Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The construction wall around Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.


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