Universal Orlando announces enhancements for 2012

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is a press release. -J]

This year, Universal Orlando Resort will debut more adventure, excitement, laughter and awe-inspiring moments than ever before – making 2012 an extraordinary year to be here.  

There will be something for everyone and every family.  From a new Blue Man Group show and newly re-created experience inside one of Universal Orlando’s most popular attractions to a stunning parade, spectacular nighttime show and brand-new blockbuster attraction based on an incredibly popular film – Universal Orlando Resort is bringing guests more new entertainment across our entire destination in 2012 than during any other year in our history.

The new experiences will begin debuting in February.  Guests will discover the exhilarating entertainment of a new Blue Man Group show; marvel at breathtaking new animation and effects in The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man; dance and celebrate with their favorite animated characters during Universal’s Superstar Parade and relive memorable moments from Universal Pictures most powerful and beloved films during the nighttime show Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories. And coming this summer – families will laugh together as they are transformed into minions for an incredible adventure inside the new Despicable Me Minion Mayhem attraction.

Universal Orlando will also be marking the Universal Pictures Centennial Anniversary Celebration during 2012 with a series of events to be announced throughout the year.

“We are about to offer our guests a historic range of incredible new entertainment experiences,” said Alice Norsworthy, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Universal Orlando Resort.  “This year will be filled with excitement and entertainment for the entire family.”

The new 2012 experiences at Universal Orlando Resort include:

Blue Man Group ~ Opening February 2012 at Universal CityWalk

Universal Orlando’s Blue Man Group show is taking their unique and captivating mash-up of high energy music, comedy, audience participation and collective exhilaration to another level. Featuring a new show environment, new music, new technology and new experiences, the show will allow audiences to join the Blue Men as they discover, engage and explore the world’s obsession with cutting-edge technology.  Signature Blue Man Group moments combine with breathtakingly fun new pieces for an explosive evening of entertainment.  New show elements include the curious Blue Men interacting with enormous “GiPads,” a funny and insightful look at contemporary communication vehicles, and a pulsating new finale with an original Blue Man Group music score that will have guests jumping to their feet. Look closely – you may even see the Blue Men take a spin on one of Universal Orlando's most popular attractions.

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ~ Experience March 2012 at Islands of Adventure

Universal Orlando is transforming what is already one of the most amazing attraction experiences ever created into what will feel like an all-new adventure.  The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man will soon feature all-new, 4K digital high-definition animation, new high tech 3-D glasses and upgrades to the set, audio and lighting systems.  The re-animation of the ride film will include an entirely new level of detail for guests to discover, including a cameo by legendary comic book icon and Spider-Man co-creator, Stan Lee.

Universal’s Superstar Parade ~ Opening Spring 2012 at Universal Studios Florida

Some of today’s most beloved characters and stories will bring new adventure to the streets of Universal Studios during Universal’s Superstar Parade – an all-new daily parade that features larger-than-life floats, state-of-the-art technology and hundreds of energetic street performers.  Guests will sing and dance along with characters like the minions from Despicable Me, E.B. from the hit comedy, Hop, Nickelodeon’s Dora & Diego and SpongeBob SquarePants during the interactive experience. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy performances and character meet and greets prior to the parade at select locations throughout the day.

Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories ~ Opening Spring 2012 at Universal Studios Florida

Narrated by award-winning actor and recent Golden Globe - Cecil B. DeMille honoree, Morgan Freeman, Universal Orlando’s brand-new nighttime show, Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular, will celebrate the most powerful and emotional moments from Universal Pictures’ most iconic films – all on cutting-edge waterfall screens within the Universal Studios lagoon and surrounded by colorful fountains and pyrotechnics. The experience will take guests on a journey through epic cinematic moments filled with heroes, horror, laughter, good vs. evil and triumph. The new show opens this spring, runs all summer and then on select nights through the end of the year.

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ~ Opening Summer 2012 at Universal Studios Florida  

Universal Orlando’s newest attraction, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, will take guests on an unforgettable 3-D adventure with their favorite characters from the hit film – Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes and the mischievous minions. The experience begins when guests enter Gru’s home, where they learn that they’re being recruited to become minions and undergo “minion training.”  Things don’t go as planned, and guests find themselves on a wildly hysterical journey with Gru and his daughters.  Once guests make it through training, they join an interactive, minion-inspired dance party where they can show off their best moves.

Universal’s Creative team is working closely with Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment to bring this all-new adventure to life in the most authentic way possible.  In fact, the beloved characters in the attraction will be voiced by the film’s original cast: Steve Carell (Gru), Miranda Cosgrove (Margo), Dana Gaier (Edith) and Elsie Fisher (Agnes).  The ride’s experience is being developed by the same creative team that brought you the award-winning film, Despicable Me. The motion-picture event Despicable Me 2 arrives in theaters on July 3, 2013.

Other New Experiences Opening this Year

  • Hollywood Drive-In Golf, a unique 36-hole miniature golf experience inspired by the classic drive-in movie era, will open in February at Universal CityWalk.
  • A great, new immersive retail entertainment experience that will become home to SpongeBob SquarePants and other characters from the number one kids animated TV series, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants.  It will open inside Universal Studios this year.
  • Minutes away from Universal Orlando, the popular Wet ‘n Wild water park will open its first interactive family water play area, this summer – allowing everyone in the family to splash and swim together.  Amidst lush, tropical landscaping, the new area will feature 15 water slides and more than 100 soakers, jets, waterfalls and water cannons - making it the largest interactive water play experience in Florida.

Read the entire press release from Universal Orlando.

eightdotthree's avatar

Pretty excited for all of this stuff, especially the Spiderman updates.

Last edited by eightdotthree,
Jeff's avatar

I'm very excited about the updated BMG show. Looking at the video they included, it looks like they've added or changed quite a bit. I've seen that particular show three times, but not for several years.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Lord Gonchar's avatar

I think it's interesting that Universal picked up on Nickelodeon/Spongebob - even if just for retail.

I'm sure they were disappointed that they couldn't score Peanuts.

We have a "non-Disney" week planned for late June this summer. Looks like everything but the Minions (and maybe even that) will be up and running.

Originally, we were going to do the Flex (SeaWorld/Aquatica/UO/IoA/WnW), but I'm wondering if we don't want to just focus on the latter three...

kpjb's avatar

Universal has had Nick characters since they opened, haven't they?

Is the Despicable Me attraction replacing something, or is it new? Any info on where it will be located?


Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yeah, they have. I just wanted an excuse to bring it up again.

kpjb's avatar

Double post for Gonch:

Universal Studios Peanuts.


Greg P's avatar

kpjb said:
Universal has had Nick characters since they opened, haven't they?

Is the Despicable Me attraction replacing something, or is it new? Any info on where it will be located?

Yes, USF used to be home to Nickelodeon Studios and the Gak Geyser.
Despicable me is replacing the Jimmy Neutron: Nicktoon Blast attraction, formerly Hanna Barbera in the front of USF.

Last edited by Greg P,

Coaster Count: 101 Parks: 19
Steel: 86
Wood: 15

Lord Gonchar's avatar

kpjb said:
Double post for Gonch:

Universal Studios Peanuts.

Wow. They covered all their bases with that one. Peanuts, Hello Kitty and Sesame Street.

My hypothesis is that all these upgrades, individually or as a whole, will be very well done...but there is no way that Spiderman and Dispicable Me will have the lasting cultural phenomenon of Potter. ;)

...sarcasm! :)

Vater's avatar

Remove 'Spiderman' and I'd say the statement is true.

Jeff's avatar

Here's the video press release:

Wasn't the Blue Man Theater where they used to shoot Double Dare? I know there were two soundstages as part of the Nick studios.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

You had me at "Narrated by ... Morgan Freeman".

The kids would get a kick out of the Dora and Diego parade. If they are smart, they'll ape the presentation of Magic Kingdom's "Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party" 'parade', where the parade 'parks' and the kids get to dance with the characters. I think that might have been #1 or #2 of all there things we did @ WDW in the kids eyes.

PlaceHolder for Castor & Pollux

Jeff's avatar

NSFW... http://imgur.com/mfTYY

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

kingdakacor's avatar

Love the idea of the night show. Can't go wrong with Morgan Freeman's voice. (WDW Hall of Presidents is great too). I am glad they are keeping Nickelodeon apsects alive in the park. I miss the gak geyser fountain in front of Nick Studios too..... Did Universal have a night show before? I was there in 2010 and don't recall one on the brochure.

Last edited by kingdakacor,

Sky's the limit.

Jeff's avatar

They've had those things floating in the lagoon for a long time, but I don't ever remember seeing them used for anything. I assume they had one at some point. There's even a keyed light switch panel in the "city park" walking area near it, close to the pet show stadium.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

They had a night show in the Studios lagoon when we were there last August. Actually that they are talking about now seems very similar to what it I saw. Showing highlights of movie clips (my wife and I got more out of that part of it than our kids did) on those big spheres floating in the lagoon along with water and laser effects.

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