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^^ Spenser1058, you really need to do a podcast or something like that; YouTube perhaps where you're getting paid to blog.  your analysis and commentary is truly a great thing.  No BS, I mean it.

Yes I am tourist but I usually avoid the theme parks but did go to Disney Springs.  I knew they were restricting crowd size but did not know they had temperature checks in order to get in and masks we

Apartments on Universal Blvd.   

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1 hour ago, Xander said:

They're talking about splitting home games between St. Petersburg and Montreal. No, that wasn't a joke.

This goes against everything I believe in for urban development but, building a stadium in Lakeland (between Tampa Bay and Orlando) might be an option. Especially if a high speed train gets built between Orlando and Tampa with Brightline/Virgin.

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8 minutes ago, ragerunner said:

This goes against everything I believe in for urban development but, building a stadium in Lakeland (between Tampa Bay and Orlando) might be an option. Especially if a high speed train gets built between Orlando and Tampa with Brightline/Virgin.

We’ll rename them the Orlampa Sprawl!

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15 minutes ago, ragerunner said:

This goes against everything I believe in for urban development but, building a stadium in Lakeland (between Tampa Bay and Orlando) might be an option. Especially if a high speed train gets built between Orlando and Tampa with Brightline/Virgin.

Central Florida Rays isn’t the worse thing ever.

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I think a stadium at the OCCC would be great. The convention center has previously stated they need a large venue for keynote events.  Baseball stadiums that don't draw other events struggle, those that can host multiple events weather better. It amazes me that Tampa let that Ybor City proposal fall through. 

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6 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

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/

There will be a bridge. Reedy Creek has already updated their address map with both bridges. https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=d675187179194132a3abb2b9078a4cbd  It should be noted that the map isn't perfect, with none of the Star Wars updates added to the map yet. 

Also, speaking of Reedy Creek on ArcGIS, this swipe of aerial maps showing growth in the 4 Corners area is pretty fun to look at. https://www.arcgis.com/apps/StorytellingSwipe/index.html?appid=33ae3bc929f94047be9b135f66ba11cb&embed

The bridge should allow for some much-needed monorail updates. The resort loop is the only one with more than 2 stations but the pathway should help if one or two of those stations go offline for updates. 

On the latest Disney Dish podcast with Len Testa and Jim Hill (I believe this episode but I'm not 100% sure this is where it was mentioned), they mention the potential for a boutique resort on the backside of Adventureland. Remember, this is the expansion plot that was previously rumored for a Moana coaster, that was canned with the TRON coaster was greenlit. The hotel would be behind Jungle Cruise and not very visible from inside the park but would provide amazing castle/fireworks views and Seven Seas Lagoon views. Len Testa mentioned it as a potential spot for an Electrical Water Pagent viewing dessert party. 

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16 hours ago, jrs2 said:

what's Montreal's connection to the TB Rays?

I really haven't a clue. I don't know if there even is one, other than Montreal being rumored to be looking to get back into  MLB since they lost the Expos. I do know that a team is being assembled right now to officially launch a bid to lure the Rays to Orlando, and there will be news about it coming up here shortly.

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21 minutes ago, Xander said:

I really haven't a clue. I don't know if there even is one, other than Montreal being rumored to be looking to get back into  MLB since they lost the Expos. I do know that a team is being assembled right now to officially launch a bid to lure the Rays to Orlando, and there will be news about it coming up here shortly.

well, if Montreal wants MLB again, I think they are probably the frontrunner because of their history and size, etc.  But, I am very curious about this team being assembled to get the team to move to Orlando.  I can't see the Rays leaving TB though...but...Oakland lost the Raiders again and the Chargers moved (right?), so, who knows...

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They didn't announce much but it's Universal's Epic Universe. 

Concept Art: https://www.universalorlando.com/account/en/us/account-management/email-sign-up/universals-epic-universe.html?signup=ueu&__source=TWITTER&linkId=71401953

Not only will it be a new park but they will also be building a new entertainment district with shopping and restaurants. 

14,000 employees w/ base rate of $15 hour. 

Looks to be a hotel right on property too. 

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32 minutes ago, jrs2 said:

well, if Montreal wants MLB again, I think they are probably the frontrunner because of their history and size, etc.  But, I am very curious about this team being assembled to get the team to move to Orlando.  I can't see the Rays leaving TB though...but...Oakland lost the Raiders again and the Chargers moved (right?), so, who knows...

Some major facts on the ground:

(1) St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman has essentially dug his feet in the sand and said he is not prepared to release the Rays from their existing agreement (that ends in 2028, iirc). Politically, it would be difficult to say “never mind” at this point and he has three years to go until someone takes his place. 

(2) Baseball is a flop not just in St. Pete but in Florida generally (the two MLB teams with the worst attendance? St. Pete and Miami).

(3) MLB looks for healthy minor-league teams as harbingers for successful teams in the Big Show. Compared to places like Nashville and Charlotte, Florida’s single-A teams and double-A team (Jax) suck wind.

(4) The one bright spot for baseball in Florida used to be spring training, as all the snowbirds and retirees who would not support local teams loved to watch their former hometown favorites prepare for the upcoming season. For a couple of decades now, city officials have declined to invest in facilities for the teams and they have steadily been leaving Florida for greener pastures (actually, browner deserts). Those retirees have been so up in arms about losing spring training that not one Florida official has lost an election because of it.

(5) The tourism angle? Well, Disney just ended their agreement with the Atlanta Braves at ESPN Wide World of Sports and, to date, hasn’t been chomping at the bit to replace them.

If anyone sees in any of that a good reason for baseball to invest in Florida, I concede I’m missing the thread. Hope springs eternal for the boys of spring, I suppose.

It seems to me, however, that pro baseball will be as successful in Florida as FBS football is in New England.

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I had wondered if Universal would want to consider annexing the new property into the City (along with their current holdings) to simplify permitting, zoning, governmental relations, etc. 

However, that seems not to be the case, as according to Theme Park Insider, Mayor Buddy was not on the dais.

A very successful bonding with the tourism industry for new OC Mayor Jerry Demings.

From the time charter government brought OC a step closer to strong-mayor government, it was believed that the county chair (now OC Mayor) would become the region’s most powerful elected official.

That, however, didn’t happen until this year. For the first time in memory, there is more energy emanating from the Brick Bunker than from under the Dome. Stay tuned...

https://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/201908/6921/

 

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Here are the detailed breakdown of the Universal's Epic Universe. Including theme lands, potential rides and economic impacts of this amazing new park/resort. The area will receive major infrastructure upgrades including dedicated bus transit lanes to connect the two resorts. The new complex will employ 14,000 people and will bring a 3+ billion dollar investment to the Orlando region.

Here is a link to a video, if you are interested with more details.

Photos all from Universal Orlando.

Entry area
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Nintendo
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Classic Monsters
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Fantastic Beasts
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How to Train A Dragon
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Here's a bit of trivia: Dean DeBlois, the director of the "How to Train Your Dragon" films, was based in Orlando for a while at the sadly-missed Walt Disney Animation Studios Florida where he co-directed "Lilo and Stitch" and was the head of story for "Mulan",   which were two of the films primarily created there.  The dedication of an entire land to "How to Train Your Dragon" by Universal reminds me of how the closure of the studio was one of the most bone-headed corporate decisions ever made by Disney.

Edited by jliv
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Orlando may not have valued the real Streamline Moderne when Bulldozer Buddy took out the 1942 McCrory’s on Orange Ave but Disney is going all in on the ersatz version with the expansion of its entrance complex and Skyliner station at DHS:

 https://wdwnt.com/2019/08/photos-new-entrance-area-revealed-as-work-wraps-up-on-disneys-hollywood-studios-security-checkpoint-expansion/

From WDW News Today 

https://www.pinterest.com/amp/pin/329044316500956143/

From pinterest 

Edited by spenser1058
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It’s certainly easy to understand why Universal felt no need to annex its new property into Orlando for ease of working with the bureaucrats.

It turns out OC will be providing on-site permitting from an office located at OCCC next to the site of the new park.

I stand in awe of how quickly the county is moving to be the forward-moving government in the region. The times they are a changin’.

https://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/201908/6927/

From Theme Park Insider 

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