Ride Vehicle and new details revealed for Reign of Kong

There are some new and exciting details out today for Universal Studios Islands of Adventure “Skull Island: Reign of Kong”.

To get things rolling (pun intended) the Universal Studios Orlando blog released details on the new ride vehicle!

Each vehicle for Reign of Kong measures of 40 feet long and 13 feet high with 45 inch wheels with individual front and rear steering and will carry up to 72 people.

To add a new twist to the immersive experience Universal is mastering – these vehicles will traverse a completely trackless system!

Having a free moving trackless vehicle alone would realistically provide a difference experience with each ride, but in their usually fashion of going above and beyond and setting new bars in attraction development, Universal has added 5 individually driver characters to “Reign of Kong” each with their own story and experience to share:

  • Becky Callahan: The loose-cannon cowgirl who isn’t fazed by the dangers awaiting her on Skull Island.
  • Will Denham: The fresh-faced, adventure-seeking younger cousin of famed movie director Carl Denham.
  • Jinks Costanza: A hardened New York City ex-con who is wary of the island’s mysteries.
  • Kalana: A mystical descendent of the natives who first settled on the island.
  • Charles “Doc” Jordan: A PhD student in paleontology who took time off from his studies to explore the world.

“Skull Island: Reign of Kong” opens this summer at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure.

For more details on the Reign of Kong vehicle, check out the video provided by Universal Studios:

Toothsome Chocolate Factory coming to Universal CityWalk

The big question “What is taking the place of NBA City?” has finally been answered – and I couldn’t be any more excited about the news!

“Toothsome Chocolate Factory & Savory Feast Emporium” is moving into CityWalk. The new addition to the ever expanding resort features a full menu with unique takes on steaks, seafood, and pasta, gourmet burgers and sandwiches, salads, an all-day brunch and more.

But perhaps the bigger draw to the unique eatery is the original and stunning theme; a 19th century-inspired Steampunk chocolate factory!

Chocolate-2-1

You’ll enjoy your dining experience surrounded by steampunk gadgets, steampunk fashioned staff, and full view of the wondrous chocolate creations as they’re being made.

To wet your appetite the Universal Orlando Blog released a teaser list of some of the signature milkshakes to be featured at Toothsome:

  • Chocolate 5x: An explosion of chocolate with chocolate spirals, chunks, ice-cream and whipped cream.
  • Bacon Brittle: A fun twist on a breakfast favorite with bacon ice cream, bacon brittle, chocolate covered bacon, and bacon caramel.
  • Espresso Buzzzz: A coffee lover’s dream with coffee ice-cream and chocolate covered beans.
  • Red Velvet: A milkshake topped with a Red Velvet cupcake.
  • Key Lime Pie: The classic Florida dessert turned into a delicious shake. You’ll even get a slice of pie on top.
  • Toothsome Chocolate Factory & Savory Feast Emporium opens at CityWalk later this year.

Universal Studios Orlando Resort is already a favorite spot for us at NEOZAZ to eat, drink and play; I’ve got a feeling Toothsome will be added to our regular list of stops very, very soon.

Chocolate-11-1170x731

Chocolate-1-1170x731

Chocolate-5-1170x731

Universal Studios Mardi Gras 2016 Gallery

This past weekend we had the pleasure of attending and covering another fantastic seasonal event for Universal Studios Orlando – Mardi Gras!

Universal Studios Mardi Gras is billed as Florida’s biggest party, and this year’s event has the fun, the food, the music, and the most exciting parade in any theme park to deliver.

As part of our coverage of this year’s event, we present this photo gallery of our first visit to Mardi Gras 2016!

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”1″ gal_title=”Mardi Gras 2016″]

For more information on Universal Studios Mardi Gras, please visit their website at: https://www.universalorlando.com/Events/Mardi-Gras/Overview.aspx

For our firsthand account and live recordings at Universal Studios Mardi Gras, check out our special podcast episode at: http://neozaz.com/special-universal-studios-mardi-gras/

For further coverage on Universal Studios Mardi Gras, check out our article “10 Better Than Good Reason to Attend Universal Studios Mardi Gras” at: http://neozaz.com/10-reasons-to-attend-universal-studios-mardi-gras/

Special – Universal Studios Mardi Gras!

In this special episode Matt and Quint from “The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights” podcast attend the Universal Studios Florida Spring event – Mardi Gras!

From the drinks and food to the parade, everything is covered in the live event coverage episode!

Mardi Gras runs on select nights for February 6th to April 16th:

Saturday February 6th
Saturday February 13th
Sunday February 14th
Saturday February 20th
Saturday February 27th
Saturday March 5th
Saturday Match 12th
Sunday March 13th
Saturday March 19th
Sunday March 20th
Saturday March 26th
Saturday April 2nd
Saturday April 9th
Saturday April 16th

For more information visit: https://www.universalorlando.com/Events/Mardi-Gras/Overview.aspx

Check out our Universal Studios Mardi Gras Article “10 Better than Good reasons to attend Universal Studios Mardi Gras 2016” at: http://neozaz.com/10-reasons-to-attend-universal-studios-mardi-gras/

For pictures from this years event, visit our Universal Mardi Gras 2016 Gallery at:http://neozaz.com/universal-studios-mardi-gras-2016-gallery/

To learn more about our podcast dedicated entirely to the Universal Studios Fall event Halloween Horror Nights, visit “The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights” podcast page at: http://neozaz.com/category/podcasts/halloween-horror-nights/

10 Better than Good Reasons to Attend Universal Studios Mardi Gras 2016

The party is underway at Universal Studios Orlando’s annual spring season event: Mardi Gras – Florida’s Biggest Party!

We made our first (of many more to come) visit the 2016 event this weekend and compiled a list of 10 better than good reasons you should attend Universal Studios Mardi Gras too!

In no particular order, here are those 10 reasons

10. The Food

Much like we talked many, many times before about the special event food at Halloween Horror Nights, Mardi Gras too offers specialty food that you’re not going to find during a regular visit at the part.

Great selections from “N’awlins” cuisine like Andouille Sausage, Jambalaya, Gumbo, Beignets and King cake, along with event favorites cheese steaks and loaded fries, and one NeoZAZ favorites we’ll get to in a minute because it deserves its own entry on this list.

9. Stilt Walker Photo Ops.

Stilt Walker photo ops are of course not limited to this event, Universal has many great stilt walker characters through the day at both parks. However, in the opening hours of the French Quarter Courtyard (4:00PM on Mardi Gras Event Nights) the parade stilt walkers gather in the streets during this limited event run for a unique photo op!

8. French Quarter Courtyard

We started off the list talked about the food, and here’s where you get it – the French Quarter Courtyard. But the Courtyard isn’t all about food, there’s bars featuring Louisiana brewery drafts, a Crepes and Coffee booth, and live Zydeco bands straight from New Orleans.

7. Blinky Cups

Help light up the party by grabbing your own blinky cup from almost any of the Mardi Gras bars. These cups don’t just add a bit of fun to the event but also offer discounted refills throughout the night – and the entire event when you come back!

6. Voodoo Juice

And if you’re going to get a blinky cup and you’re 21 or over and enjoy a enjoy an adult beverage, you might as well have them fill with an ice cold Voodoo Juice. Voodoo Juice is the signature drink of this year’s event and is a tasty mix of Full Throttle energy drink, Minute Maid orange, pineapple and cranberry juice, and rum.

5. Concerts

One huge reason to go to Mardi Gras and Universal Studios are the concerts. Included with the price of admission on Mardi Gras event nights is a full concert on the Music Plaza Stage. Acts appearing at this year’s event are:

February 6th (Sat.) Hunter Hayes
February 13th (Sat.) Diana Ross
February 14th (Sun.) Barenaked Ladies
February 20th (Sat.) Nate Ruess
February 27th (Sat.) Fall Out Boy
March 5th (Sat.) Kool & The Gang
March 12th (Sat.) The Gray
March 13th (Sun.) Adam Lambert
March 19th (Sat.) Shawn Mendes
March 20th (Sun.) 3 Door Down
March 26th (Sat.) Reo Speedwagon
April 2nd (Sat.) T-Pain
April 9th (Sat.) Jessie J
April 16th (Sat.) Yandel

4. Twisted Taters

This is the one food that will always get its own spot on any Universal event list we publish on NeoZAZ. The simplest idea that has given us so much joy over the years. A thinly spiral cut potato deep fried on a stick then coated with your choice of seasoning. It’s not limited to Universal Mardi Gras, we enjoy them at Halloween Horror Nights each year, but it’s not found in the park every day. If you miss tasting a twisted tater at Mardi Gras, you’re doing your taste buds a disservice.

3. Beads. Millions of Free Beads

Let’s face it, it’s not often you walk out of any them park with a free souvenir other than a park guide, Mardi Gras gives you that chance. Flying through the air from the parade floats, over 1.7 million strings of beads will make their way into park visitor hands this year, more than enough to go around so go out there and get yours!

2. The Parade

And how do you get those beads? Watch the fantastic Mardi Gras Parade make its way through the streets of Universal Studios! 10 original individually themed party floats lead by a crew of costumed character and stilt walkers light up the streets and the get the party going with lights, confetti, music, and as mentioned just moments ago – beads! Roughly a dozen costumed attendees on each side of each float throw colored strings of beads to the parade watchers from start to finish. And to give the kids their fair chance and a near guarantee of walking away from the parade with plenty beads, head over to the “Little Jester’s Parade view area” in front of the Brown Derby hat Shop – an area just for kids their own parade experience.

1. Mardi Gras is included with Park admission

We went through a lot of reasons to attend Mardi Gras at Universal Studios this year but possibly the best reason to go is Mardi Gras is included in price of the day admission to the park. The Concert, the Parade, entry into the French Quarter Courtyard is all part of a day’s visit to Universal Studios. So enjoy a day at central Florida’s best theme park and then stay for Florida’s biggest party!

Mardi Gras takes place on select nights February 6 – to April 16, 2016.

For dates and concert information visit the Universal Studios Mardi Gras website at: https://www.universalorlando.com/Events/Mardi-Gras/Overview.aspx

Stay tuned for our Mardi Gras coverage podcast special coming soon to NeoZAZ.com.

Star Wars In Character – Sifo Dyas and our 5 Year Anniversary!

Episode 172 “Sifo Dyas and our 5 Year Anniversary!”

In this episode we we discuss the man that launched a thousand clones and celebrate our 5 year anniversary!

The Star Wars In Character podcast and all the work we do at NeoZAZ is made possible through the generosity of Patreon supporters. To learn how you can help support the show and have the opportunity to select the subject of an upcoming episode of Star Wars In Character, please visit our Patreon Page at: https://www.patreon.com/neozaz

Get each new episode of Star Wars In Character automatically by subscribing to Star Wars In Character on iTunes.

Listen and subscribe to Star Wars In Character on Stitcher.

Follow all the latest Star Wars in Character news and continued discussion on our social media sites.

Find us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/starwarsincharacter

and follow us on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/swicpodcast

For all the latest from NeoZAZ, follow us on facebook at: http://www.faceboook.com/neozazpodcast

and on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/neozaz