Local Students Visit Universal Orlando for Hands-On Look at Art-Related Careers

As part of an ongoing partnership between Universal Orlando Resort and Orange County Public Schools, more than 200 students from local middle schools are visiting Universal Orlando this week for a hands-on look at real-world jobs that exist within the entertainment industry.

 

Students from Carver, Union Park and Memorial Middle Schools are joining members of Universal Orlando’s Art & Design department to walk through the processes involved in creating the many attractions and shows at the theme parks.  The students are touring soundstages where the creative team showcases several key processes, such as concept design, production, costuming and makeup – all centered around Universal Orlando’s Holidays and Mardi Gras celebrations. Students have the chance to fire confetti cannons, learn dance choreography, participate in graphic design projects, speak to performers from the popular Grinchmas show and more.

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Universal Orlando artists and designers have also visited the students in their classrooms as part of the program, discussing everything from brainstorming to website creation. As a related project, the students will work in groups to create their very own stage characters, and Universal Orlando will bring them to life at the resort later this school year.

 

Universal Orlando and Orange County Public Schools partnered to create The Art of Tomorrow program in 2012 to inspire local middle school students to stay in school and pursue arts-related careers. Universal Orlando has opened both its theme parks to serve as “learning labs” for students to explore the various creative roles that help make Universal Orlando Resort a world-class entertainment destination.

Zendaya Celebrates Unveiling of Two New Figures for Madame Tussauds

Zendaya returned to the Bay Area on the eve of her American Music Awards appearance this weekend to unveil two brand new wax figures from Madame Tussauds. Styled to reflect Zendaya’s appearances at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards and 2014 BMI Hip Hop R&B Awards, one figure will remain in Madame Tussauds San Francisco, while the other will be featured at Madame Tussauds Orlando.

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Zendaya is best known for her starring role as K.C. Cooper in Disney Channels’ “K.C. Undercover,” and for the platinum single hit off her 2013 self-titled debut album, “Replay.” She is currently working on her second studio album.

With a strong belief in body positivity and individual beauty, Zendaya’s impeccable style and confidence has won her wide appeal among teens and young adults. With the launch of her figures, she has joined an exclusive group of celebrities whose figures are a result of extensive requests from fans eager to see their favorite stars immortalized in wax.

“This is a major, major honor and it’s so cool to have it in the Bay where I’m from,” said Zendaya of the reveal. “This is the best trip ever. I get to be home and be with my people…and also my twins!”

The 19-year-old star met with skilled studio artists in June where she underwent the unique experience of a Madame Tussauds sitting, capturing her expressions, poses, taking more than 250 measurements and matching eye color and hair color. Keen to reflect her own hip and edgy style on both figures, Zendaya donated the pink Material Girl dress, which she wore to the 2014 Teen Choice Awards. For her second figure, Madame Tussauds worked with one of her favorite designers Rubin Singer to recreate the look she wore to the 2014 BMI Hip Hop R&B Awards.

Madame Tussauds is world-renowned for the creation of detailed and lifelike wax figures that pay homage to A-list celebrities from film and television, sports icons, musicians from all genres, and notable figures from history and pop culture. Each Madame Tussauds figure is truly a work of art, involving teams of professional artists and sculptors who spend months on extensive research and take more than 300 measurements to recreate world-famous icons, to achieve the kind of astonishing realism that has been at the heart of the 250-year Madame Tussauds legacy.

Madame Tussauds Orlando has new Florida resident rates, offering attraction admission for $18 ($13 for children between the ages of 3-12). This special offer saves visitors more than 25 percent off regular admission. For a limited time, tickets may be purchased at MadameTussauds.com/Orlando or at the attraction’s admissions desk.

This offer is valid for Florida residents, with valid proof of residency, such as a state-issued ID, utilities or cable bill, bank statement, library card, or recent paystub. Restrictions may apply. Prices and hours subject to change without notice. Attraction admission is not guaranteed and subject to availability. The offer is not valid for premium products and cannot be combined with any other offers or packages.

Guests at Madame Tussauds Orlando will experience the essence of America with this brand new, immersive and interactive wax experience, bursting with family fun and world-class entertainment, as they move through themed areas meeting all of their favorite stars from award-winning film actors, to historical and modern world leaders, sports stars, music legends as well as figures important to Florida. All visitors can shake hands with the president, get on stage with rock stars and pop princesses, or get up close and personal with a Hollywood heartthrob and take the ultimate selfie! For more information, visit www.madametussauds.com/Orlando.

Universal Orlando’s 25th Anniversary Concert Series Concludes This Weekend With Carly Rae Jepsen & Daughtry

Universal Orlando Resort’s 25th Anniversary Concert Series concludes this weekend with musical performances by GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen on Friday, November 27 and GRAMMY-nominated rock band Daughtry on Saturday, November 28.

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Multi-platinum artist, Carly Rae Jepsen released her critically acclaimed new album E·MO·TION in August, earning her a host of rave reviews declaring it the pop album of the year to date. E·MO·TION is the follow-up to Jepsen’s 2012 U.S. debut album Kiss, which featured her blockbuster break-out hit “Call Me Maybe” and earned her two GRAMMY nominations that year.

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GRAMMY-nominated rock band, Daughtry, has sold more than 8 million albums and 18 million singles worldwide. Daughtry’s self-titled debut album was the fastest selling rock debut in Neilsen SoundScan history featuring hit singles like “It’s Not Over,” “Home” and “Feels Like Tonight.” In 2013, the band released its fourth album, “Baptized,” with its lead single, “Waiting for Superman,” breaking into the top 15 on the U.S. Billboard charts.

 

Access to the concert series is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida or with an Annual Pass. For more information, visit www.UniversalOrlando.com.

 

JIMMY FALLON TO GET HIS OWN RIDE AT UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT

The host of America’s No. 1 late-night talk show will soon get his very own theme park attraction at Universal Orlando Resort. 

 

In 2017, Jimmy Fallon – host of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and one of today’s funniest comedians – will be the star of a brand-new hilarious ride experience at Universal Studios Florida called, “Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.”  Guests will enjoy the full “Tonight Show” experience as they’re transported to Studio 6B to race against Jimmy in a crazy adventure that only he could imagine.

 

Jimmy and his creative team are working closely with Universal to develop the ride’s storyline and bring his vision to life.  The experience will seamlessly blend the playful and irreverent world of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” with the incredible technology and imaginative storytelling for which Universal Orlando is known. 

 

The adventure will begin as guests step right into Studio 6B, where Jimmy will challenge them and their fellow audience members to a white-knuckle race.   Guests will twist, turn and laugh as they speed through the streets – and skies – of The Big Apple – encountering everything from iconic landmarks to the deepest subway tunnels – and anything else that comes to Jimmy’s mind.

 

Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon will open in 2017 at Universal Studios Florida and join the incredible lineup of experiences at Universal Orlando Resort.  It will replace Twister…Ride It Out, which will close on November 2 to make way for the new experience. 

 

More details will be released in the future.  Stay tuned to universalorlando.com for updates.

 

About The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” airs weeknights on NBC and is the highest-rated, late-night show in the U.S.  Recorded from Studio 6B in Rockefeller Center, the show is hosted by comedian Jimmy Fallon, and also stars announcer Steve Higgins and the award-winning band The Roots.  The show, which features comedic sketches and games, interviews with celebrity guests and musical performances, has been nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards, and has become a staple of pop culture.

 

About Universal Orlando Resort
For 25 years, Universal Orlando Resort has been creating epic vacations for the entire family – incredible experiences that place guests in the heart of powerful stories and adventures.  Guests can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, grab a Krusty burger in Springfield, join the ranks of the Minions and so much more.

 

Universal Orlando’s two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, are home to some of the world’s most exciting and innovative attractions. Its on-site resort hotels, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort are destinations unto themselves.  Its entertainment complex, Universal CityWalk, offers dining and entertainment for every member of the family. And just minutes away is Wet ‘n Wild, a family water park.

 

Universal Orlando Resort has unveiled 18 new guest experiences in the past five years – powerful attractions, incredible dining opportunities and a dramatically themed hotel.  And more is on the way.  Coming in 2016 is Universal Orlando’s fifth on-site hotel, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort; and Skull Island: Reign of Kong, a groundbreaking attraction in Islands of Adventure.  And in 2017 will come Universal’s Volcano Bay, an entirely new water theme park experience; and Fast & Furious: Supercharged, a high-octane journey that will bring to life one of the most successful movie franchises of all time.

 

Universal Orlando Resort is part of NBCUniversal, a Comcast company.  Follow us on our blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

 

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT PRESENTS SPECIAL TAPING FOR 2015 NICKELODEON HALO AWARDS

On November 7, Universal Orlando guests can be part of a special taping for the 2015 Nickelodeon HALO Awards, hosted by Nick Cannon and featuring a performance by alternative-pop band WALK THE MOON.  The concert is included in admission to Universal Studios Florida and will take place at the Music Plaza stage at 7 p.m.

 

WALK THE MOON will perform a six-song set that includes their multiformat No. 1 triple-platinum hit single, “Shut Up and Dance,” along with their new track, “Different Colors.”  Both songs are off the band’s acclaimed sophomore album, TALKING IS HARD.  WALK THE MOON consists of Nicholas Petricca (lead singer, songwriter and keyboard player), Eli Maiman (guitar, vocals), Kevin Ray (bass, vocals) and Sean Waugaman (drums, vocals). 

 

On November 7, Universal Orlando guests can be part of a special taping for the 2015 Nickelodeon HALO Awards, hosted by Nick Cannon and featuring a performance by alternative-pop band WALK THE MOON.  The concert is included in admission to Universal Studios Florida and will take place at the Music Plaza stage at 7 p.m.

On November 7, Universal Orlando guests can be part of a special taping for the 2015 Nickelodeon HALO Awards, hosted by Nick Cannon and featuring a performance by alternative-pop band WALK THE MOON. The concert is included in admission to Universal Studios Florida and will take place at the Music Plaza stage at 7 p.m.

Hosted, created and executive produced by Nick Cannon, the 2015 Nickelodeon HALO Awards is a one-of-a-kind concert event that honors young leaders from across the country.  Now in its seventh year, the awards show recognizes real-life kids that are doing extraordinary things in their communities by “Helping and Leading Others” (HALO).  In addition to being awarded a grant for their organization and scholarship funds, each HALO Award honoree is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and connect with celebrities that share their same passion for service. The 2015 Nickelodeon HALO Awards will be simulcast Sunday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. (ET/PT), across Nickelodeon, TeenNick, Nicktoons, TV Land, CMT, Nick.com and the Nick App. 

 

For more information about the 2015 Nickelodeon HALO Awards taping at Universal Orlando Resort and WALK THE MOON’s performance, visit blog.universalorlando.com.

Busch Gardens Tampa Named One of World’s Top Amusement Parks

Busch Gardens® Tampa was recently recognized as a winner in the 2015 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice™ awards and in USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice awards.

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TripAdvisor recognized Busch Gardens as one of the Top Amusement Parks in the World. The leading travel site highlights the World’s top attractions, based on the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for amusement parks worldwide gathered over a 12-month period.

Adding to the excitement, Busch Gardens’ Iceploration show was a winner in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best Amusement Park Entertainment. Nominees are chosen by a panel of relevant experts, which include a combination of editors from USA TODAY and 10Best.com, relevant expert contributors and sources for both these media and other Gannett properties. Voters are then given four weeks to vote for their candidate of choice.

 

Busch Gardens is the ultimate family adventure, combining world-class thrill rides, live entertainment and more than 12,000 animals. Venture across the Serengeti Plain® and race like a cheetah aboard Florida’s first triple-launch coaster Cheetah Hunt®. Plus, enjoy the fully-remodeled Pantopia® with shopping, dining, live entertainment and North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower, Falcon’s Fury®.

Visit buschgardenstampa.com for more information about Busch Gardens Tampa. Or, be the first to know about new events, special deals and future announcements by following the park’s blog at BuschGardensTampaBlog.com, or “Like” the Busch Gardens Facebook page and follow @buschgardens on Twitter and Instagram.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando Now Accepting Reservations

 Beginning earlier this week, guests were invited to be among the first to book reservations for the newest on-site hotel at Universal Orlando Resort – Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

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Built around a lush, tropical lagoon and towering waterfall, the new, 1,000-room Caribbean-themed hideaway is the fifth hotel at Universal Orlando and will bring the number of on-site hotel rooms to 5,200. 

 

Guests will be captivated by a vivid retreat that evokes a free-spirited, Caribbean sense of ease with a modern yet timeless feel. The unforgettable island escape will feature Universal Orlando’s largest on-site, zero-entry pool at 16,000 square-feet, with a white sand beach, a water slide, cabanas and a fire pit.

 

Dining options will include Amatista Cookhouse, a Caribbean-inspired restaurant with open exhibition kitchen and outdoor dining; Strong Water Tavern, a destination lobby lounge overlooking the hotel’s towering waterfalls and offering a tapas-style menu; Drhum Club Kantine, a poolside bar and grill serving freshly-grilled fare and specialty cocktails; New Dutch Trading Co., a quick-service marketplace; and 24-hour room service.

 

With value season rates from $119 per night for a seven-night stay or $143 per night for a four-night stay, and summer season rates starting at $176 per night for a seven-night stay or $206 per night for a four-night stay, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort will offer incredible guest benefits, including:

·         Early theme park admission

·         Complimentary water taxi service and shuttle bus transportation to the theme parks and Universal CityWalk

·         Complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to their hotel

·         Resort-wide charging privileges with their room key

·         And more!

 

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort will be a preferred on-site hotel. More information about the various levels of on-site hotel experiences is available here.

 

To book a hotel stay and explore ticket options for Universal Orlando’s two incredible theme parks, visit universalorlando.com or call 800.BE.A.STAR (232-7827).