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This update on the proposed Reflections resort between Fort Wilderness and the Wilderness Lodge on the former site of River Country suggests there will be a full-service restaurant with dining extending past the shore and over Bay Lake.

With the demise of Artist’s Point at the Lodge (it’s now character dining), this could be an amazing new spot to eat.

https://wdwnt.com/2019/07/reflections-a-disney-lakeside-resort-lodge-to-feature-table-service-restaurant-on-bay-lake/

From WDW News Today 

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Scott J reviews Toledo, the new 16th floor restaurant in the Coronado Springs Gran Destino Tower at WDW:

https://www.scottjosephorlando.com/reviews/69-spanish/4823-toledo-tapas-steak-seafood

By the way, the animated short is amazing. If you like St. Pete’s Dali Museum, you’re likely to love it. (I didn’t link it due to copyright warnings.)

Edited by spenser1058
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1 hour ago, bqknight said:

Universal has announced they will make a "major" announcement on Thursday at the Convention Center. Many believe they will be announcing their new park. 

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/tourism/os-bz-univeral-major-announcement-20190726-p2gbyxnpczbwzkbz6ovzzxleci-story.html?outputType=amp

From the Sentinel 

It’s fun they’re doing it at OCCC. The parks don’t seem to use it much (the IAAPA convention I guess being a major exception) whereas Anaheim’s much smaller convention center gets pretty regular workouts for things like D23.

UPDATE: Theme Park Insider, one of the saner attractions blogs, weighs in:

https://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/201907/6913/

Edited by spenser1058
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5 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/tourism/os-bz-univeral-major-announcement-20190726-p2gbyxnpczbwzkbz6ovzzxleci-story.html?outputType=amp

From the Sentinel 

It’s fun they’re doing it at OCCC. The parks don’t seem to use it much (the IAAPA convention I guess being a major exception) whereas Anaheim’s much smaller convention center gets pretty regular workouts for things like D23.

UPDATE: Theme Park Insider, one of the saner attractions blogs, weighs in:

https://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/201907/6913/

Disney is turning the Coronado into a full-on convention center (in my opinion). They’ve never had a desire to integrate with Orlando and “spread the wealth”. 

This played out during the HSR discussions - it was pretty much a nonstarter if a stop were to be built at the OCCC.

Meanwhile in Anaheim and also in Studio City (Universal), these companies don’t have the luxury of expansion and are required to use outside resources. I doubt they would if there was an alternative.

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1 hour ago, ragerunner said:

Universal Teaser for the new $3 billion + theme park and resort expansion.

This is big news for the region economically. 

48405745131_fb2d91f4f1_b.jpg

Discussion on another forum, Inside Universal, includes talk of large infrastructure and mass transit investment by Universal in partnership with Orange County.  Any ideas of what that could be about?

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1 hour ago, WAJAS98 said:

Discussion on another forum, Inside Universal, includes talk of large infrastructure and mass transit investment by Universal in partnership with Orange County.  Any ideas of what that could be about?

Kirkman Road extension has to be a part of it.  Maybe dedicated bus lanes on Universal Blvd?  Pure speculation here.

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3 hours ago, ragerunner said:

Universal Teaser for the new $3 billion + theme park and resort expansion.

This is big news for the region economically. 

48405745131_fb2d91f4f1_b.jpg

So I guess Fantastic worlds got the boot due to the copyright issue and they'll be using Epic Worlds? 

Universal's Epic Worlds is such a....not good name IMO. 

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30 minutes ago, codypet said:

Kirkman Road extension has to be a part of it.  Maybe dedicated bus lanes on Universal Blvd?  Pure speculation here.

Yes (kinda), Universal Way (the new road) and the extension of Kirkman will have bus dedicated lanes with a unique elevated roundabout. 

Here is some I wrote about the updates in an August 2018 article on Orlando Weekly (sorry for the shameless plug). 

Quote

Universal recently filed permits with the water management district indicating their desire to work with the Florida Department of Transportation to improve a stretch of Sand Lake Road that runs along the northern edge of the newly acquired property. An auxiliary lane will be added along the outside of the eastbound lanes on Sand Lake Road. Two new driveways onto the Universal South Campus property, located at pre-existing intersections, will also be developed along this stretch of road. The Sand Lake Road interchange at Greenbriar Parkway will have additional turn lanes added both northbound (eastbound Sand Lake Road to the existing Greenbriar Parkway) and southbound (Sand Lake Road turning onto Universal’s property). At Mandarin Drive, new southbound turn lanes will be added to allow for access to the Universal property. It’s unclear if this new entrance at the intersection of Mandarin will eventually become part of the Mandarin Drive extension.

The plans were revised earlier this year. In a February article this year, I tried to give some more details on the interior road network. 

 
 
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The new road connecting the park to the Kirkman Road extension is named Universal Way. Separate transit lanes, likely for a bus rapid transit system like the LYMMO ones found in downtown Orlando, is clearly marked on the plans. 

There are also bus lanes pulling into an area of the new park where no roadways are yet to be defined. This entrance looks to be separate from the bus and taxi area that is clearly identified on the opposite side of the park entrance. It is unclear what this separate bus entrance is for

 

For now, it looks like a shuttle bus will connect the three resort sites. I would love to see a gondola system like the one at WDW (I just finished an article on that as well) connecting the three Universal sites along with the OCCC and maybe one or two other stops. Also, don't forget the Lynx has plans for bus dedicated lanes most of the length of Kirkman in the long-range plans (though personally, I think an elevated shuttle system would much better due to the multiple intersections). It's unclear if the ones along the extension will link up to these future ones. 

Don't expect a lot of details at Thursday's event. It will mostly be an acknowledgment of the new park so that Universal can move forward with permitting.  

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3 hours ago, bqknight said:

So I guess Fantastic worlds got the boot due to the copyright issue and they'll be using Epic Worlds? 

Universal's Epic Worlds is such a....not good name IMO. 

Supposedly it’s Universals Epic Universe. Makes more sense. Still meh to me though. 

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17 hours ago, bqknight said:

Supposedly it’s Universals Epic Universe. Makes more sense. Still meh to me though. 

Both names Epic Universe and Fantastic Worlds have been approved for use. It will be interesting to see which name they go with. The Epic is currently their marketing campaign for Universal Orlando. They may just be using it as part of the teaser campaign to fit into the current marketing. I am still going with Fantastic Worlds since that finally got legal approval.

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With all the Universal buzz coming down the pipeline, i'm wondering, with the location being so prime, if they'd consider incorporating a sports complex, similar to WWoS with NBC. They definitely have the parcels. 

What would really be cool is if somehow they could partner with the city and build an MLB stadium for the Rays and keep them in the area. They have the space(and location) for that as well. Buddy Dyer's office has been very recently talking about if they should pitch Orlando as a potential spot for a new Rays ballpark.....just sayin.

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24 minutes ago, Xander said:

With all the Universal buzz coming down the pipeline, i'm wondering, with the location being so prime, if they'd consider incorporating a sports complex, similar to WWoS with NBC. They definitely have the parcels. 

What would really be cool is if somehow they could partner with the city and build an MLB stadium for the Rays and keep them in the area. They have the space(and location) for that as well. Buddy Dyer's office has been very recently talking about if they should pitch Orlando as a potential spot for a new Rays ballpark.....just sayin.

Where has this been talked about by Dyer and his team? I’ve only seen an article about a month ago that said Orlando wasn’t not pursuing the Rays.

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37 minutes ago, Uncommon said:

Where has this been talked about by Dyer and his team? I’ve only seen an article about a month ago that said Orlando wasn’t not pursuing the Rays.

He's also on record saying he'd love for them to be here now and, though i'm familiar with the article you're referring to, I know it's something on his radar and that it's being looked into. Not largely promising, but there's a reason why you're not hearing about it as an official campaign. 

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7 hours ago, ragerunner said:

Both names Epic Universe and Fantastic Worlds have been approved for use. It will be interesting to see which name they go with. The Epic is currently their marketing campaign for Universal Orlando. They may just be using it as part of the teaser campaign to fit into the current marketing. I am still going with Fantastic Worlds since that finally got legal approval.

Another rumor is both names are used... Universal's Epic Universe to replace "Universal Orlando Resort" and be more similar to Disney World being the Orlando parks, and not simply just being another Disneyland, to try to show its a full week long destination and not just a weekend resort. Does feel like Universal Escape 2.0 though, I don't like the Epic Universe name.

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13 hours ago, aent said:

Another rumor is both names are used... Universal's Epic Universe to replace "Universal Orlando Resort" and be more similar to Disney World being the Orlando parks, and not simply just being another Disneyland, to try to show its a full week long destination and not just a weekend resort. Does feel like Universal Escape 2.0 though, I don't like the Epic Universe name.

They do need to figure out an over new brand connecting all this new development. Not sure Universal's Epic Universe rolls of the tongue.

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WDW News Today has an update with some pics of work getting underway for the completion at long last of a walkway from MK to the Grand Floridian Resort.

The article suggests there will be a bridge (possibly a drawbridge) over the service canal that leads from the Seven Seas Lagoon back to Frontierland (it’s also where the Electrical Water Pageant barges are stored between performances).

https://wdwnt.com/2019/07/photos-construction-progress-on-walkway-from-disneys-grand-floridian-resort-to-magic-kingdom/

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The IAAPA Global Headquarters has opened on Taft-Vineland Rd. The building is 22K sf. The IAAPA is the trade group for theme parks and other amusements.

If any HQ makes sense for Orlando, this is the one that’s definitely spot-on.

https://www.mynews13.com/fl/orlando/attractions/2019/07/30/iaapa-opens-global-headquarters-in-orlando

From News 13

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20 hours ago, Xander said:

He's also on record saying he'd love for them to be here now and, though i'm familiar with the article you're referring to, I know it's something on his radar and that it's being looked into. Not largely promising, but there's a reason why you're not hearing about it as an official campaign. 

I thought they were building a stadium in downtown Tampa for the Rays?  Is this not happening or not yet happening?

On 7/30/2019 at 1:38 PM, codypet said:

Better than Universal Studios Escape.

this always reminded me of an '80's cheesy Bahamas cruise for some reason

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