March 2012: This summer, tourists have a reason to stay late at Universal Studios Orlando. The previously announced parade and nighttime show – free with paid admission to the park – debut on May 8, 2012. Orlando visitors will have a new attraction, and Universal will sell more food and souvenirs to guests who stay until the park closes.
Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories
It’s a long name for a show, and anything that includes the word “spectacular” promises a lot. As advertised, Universal will use every special effect at its disposal to bring its iconic films to life – films like Jaws, Psycho, and other movie moments that focus on “heroes, horror, laughter, good vs. evil, and triumph.”
Most rides in Universal Studios circle a large lake, and Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular takes place in the middle of the water, with waterfall screens, laser lights, fireworks, and other special effects. Universal says more than 200 films get at least a few seconds of screen time. While it’s safe to assume only the most ardent movie buff will identify every movie, they represent about 300 Academy award nominations and 100 winners. The show runs year-round, so even smart visitors who visit in the off-season should be able to enjoy it.
Universal’s Superstar Parade
Universal takes a page from the Disney playbook by putting its top-draw characters into a parade and having them interact with visitors along the way. While a parade is, by definition, old-school entertainment, Universal promises “larger-than-life floats, state-of-the-art technology and hundreds of energetic street performers.” In addition to movie characters, Universal throws Nickelodeon television
stars into the mix. The lineup includes – but is not limited to – the minions from Despicable Me, E.B. from Hop, SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora & Diego. If arriving during a slow season, however, check for availability. The parade will probably not be offered every day.
And there’s more
Universal Orlando has a number of ride changes debuting in 2012 too, including a technology ramp-up of Spiderman, a retooled ride that from the movie Despicable Me, and more. Visit Universal’s website for more information. http://www.universalorlando.com/