Tag Archives: Universal Creative

Mark Woodbury Named Vice Chairman, Universal Parks & Resorts

Mark WoodburyIn a move that doesn’t surprise industry folks, but will resonate very nicely with hard core theme park fans, Universal has named Mark Woodbury Vice Chairman of its Parks & Resorts division.

Fans consider Woodbury to be a big deal – elevated to a place rarely occupied by anyone out of the realm of traditional industry figureheads such as Tony Baxter, Phil Hettema, or Gary Goddard. However, after being heavily involved with projects at Universal for the past 28 years – including of course, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter projects, Mark Woodbury has become a very common name throughout the fan community. He may not be as fan-accessible as other industry leaders, but he’s definitely become synonymous with Universal Creative.

Mark Woodbury will continue in his role of President of Universal Creative, and will continue to report to Tom Williams, the Chairman and CEO of  Universal Parks & Resorts.

“Mark has been a driving force for creativity, innovation, growth and development across the entire Parks group,” said Williams. “As we continue our incredible journey, I am happy that Mark will be by my side, playing a vital role in shaping our future and leading the greatest creative team in the world.”

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Fast & Furious Supercharged Opens at Universal Studios Hollywood

Fast and Furious Supercharged_3580Universal Studios Hollywood has unveiled its newest attraction, Fast & Furious – Supercharged! On June 23, VIP guests and members of the media were invited to come to the park and witness the grand opening ceremony and experience the attraction itself; of course, we were there and were very interested to see the latest effort from Universal Creative come roaring to life for theme park guests.

The opening ceremony – parks are starting to refer to them as “moments in time” – took place on the Back Lot of the property, in iconic Courthouse Square. A few hundred people were on hand, including special guests, Universal executives and of course, members of the Universal Creative team that produced Fast & Furious – Supercharged.

Part of the opening was a special red carpet arrival area, which we were not part of. What we’ve found, is that if you opt for a spot on the red carpet, you usually get shafted at events when it comes to a good spot to see the actual opening ceremony take place – so we always stake out a spot for the main event and let others have the frenzy of red carpet arrivals to deal with. Arriving on the red carpet were some of the stars from the Fast & Furious franchise, as well as main players in the new attraction, including Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, and Vin Diesel. Members of the executive team included Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal; Larry Kurzweil, President and COO of Universal Studios Hollywood (who arrived in a hot rod in front of the media riser); and of course, Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative. The ceremony was also attended by Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, who spoke long and bilingually about the economic benefits Universal’s growth is to the region, congratulating them and publicly backing the park’s unprecedented transformation.

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando Celebrates 5th Anniversary

5th Anniversary for Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

It’s hard to imagine, but the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure recently passed its 5th Anniversary milestone!

When Potter was first announced in 2007, Theme Park Adventure began covering its progress, from artwork to construction pictures and updates on its very deliberate, very strong media roll-out. Over the next 3 years, we watched – along with the rest of the waiting world – as Hogsmeade took shape and Universal unleashed a flood of incredibly cool content such as augmented reality maps and sneak peek imagery of the new area and its signature attraction, The Forbidden Journey.

When The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened on June 18, 2010, it changed the themed entertainment industry forever – not just for fans, but for professionals in the business as well. No longer was Universal Creative the distant peer of Walt Disney Imagineering and other creative companies designing attractions – it became a major player almost overnight, altering the playing field right in Disney’s backyard into one big quidditch one!

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Potter Stars Visit Diagon Alley

Harry Potter Stars Visit Diagon Alley 3Yesterday, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps and Bonnie Wright from the popular Harry Potter film series enjoyed a sneak peek of the highly anticipated, spectacularly themed environment, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida.

The actors – who portrayed siblings Fred, George and Ginny Weasley in the films – toured the new land with Thierry Coup, Senior Vice President of Universal Creative, and Alan Gilmore, Art Director of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Harry Potter films. During their visit, they:

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Diagon Alley Experiences Revealed!

Universal Orlando Resort revealed the exciting details behind the unique entertainment experiences that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Ð Diagon Alley.Imagine wandering up the cobbled street of Diagon Alley, turning into nearby Carkitt Market, and enjoying a live performance by one of the wizarding world’s most popular singing sensations or seeing stories from The Tales of Beedle the Bard come to life right before your eyes.

Today, Universal Orlando Resort revealed the exciting details behind the unique entertainment and interactive experiences that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, the all-new, magnificently themed land opening this summer at Universal Studios Florida.

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Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts Details Revealed!

-resources-digitalassets-HP and the Escape from Gringotts 2Today, Universal Orlando Resort revealed details about Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – the revolutionary attraction found in the heart of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. The Grand Opening date for the spectacularly themed environment will be announced at a later date.

Imagine being part of the iconic moment from the Harry Potter film series where Harry, Ron and Hermione break into one of the most guarded places in the wizarding world – Gringotts bank – to retrieve a magical object that will help defeat Lord Voldemort. You’ve seen the action on-screen, and now you get to be part of it.

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Universal Orlando Resort To Announce Details About Harry Potter And The Escape from Gringotts

Next week, Universal Orlando Resort will reveal all-new details about Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – the revolutionary new attraction found within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

The vision for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley is unprecedented.  The spectacularly themed environment, located within Universal Studios Florida, will double the size of the sweeping area already dedicated to Harry Potter’s adventures at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, expanding it across both Universal theme parks. It will create new experiences based on the signature areas of London, Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley.

gringottsconceptHarry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts will be the signature ride of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. It will be a groundbreaking, multi-dimensional thrill ride that will place riders in the middle of an incredible adventure as they navigate their way through the Gringotts vaults.

“Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts will be like no other attraction in the entire world,” said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative. “From the moment we saw Gringotts bank in the films, we knew we wanted to bring it to life for our guests – and we’re doing this in a way the world has never seen before.”

Additional details will be revealed on May 13. For more information on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, visit www.UniversalOrlando.com/WizardingWorld.

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Universal Orlando’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is Now Open

Universal Orlando?s fourth on-site hotel, Universal?s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is now open! The retro-inspired hotel features incredible amenities for endless family fun including a 10,000 sq. ft. zero-entry pool with iconic dive tower waterslide, 10-lane bowling alley, the Jack LaLanne Physical Fitness Studio, family suites that sleep up to six and much more. This summer, guests will be able to enjoy even more family fun, including a second 8,000-square-foot zero entry pool, Universal Orlando?s first lazy river at an on-site hotel, The Hideaway Bar & Grill, and additional moderately-priced family suites and value-priced standard guest rooms. © Universal Orlando Resort. All Rights Reserved.Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort officially welcomed its first guests this April.  This brand-new value and moderately-priced property is the fourth on-site hotel at Universal Orlando Resort and evokes the classic, retro-feel of iconic beach resorts from the 1950s and 60s.

Located on-site at Universal Orlando Resort, the new hotel is a destination within itself – featuring a stunning design with bold colors, retro-inspired architecture and sweeping vistas that transport guests back to a time of relaxation and endless family fun. Cabana Bay guests can experience incredible amenities throughout the hotel, including:

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Universal Orlando Resort Reveals Never-Before-Released Details About The Magical Journey Guests Will Experience Aboard The Hogwarts Express

Today, Universal Orlando Resort revealed never-before-released details about the Hogwarts Express experience that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley – the all-new, magnificently themed land opening this summer.One of the most memorable and exciting experiences from the Harry Potter series will come to life at Universal Orlando Resort this summer.  Imagine:

·         Being transported from the Muggle world to the wizarding world as you pass through the brick wall at King’s Cross Station to arrive at Platform 9 ¾

·         Watching in amazement as the Hogwarts Express pulls into the station – its billowing steam and authentic whistle beckoning you to hop aboard

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