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Historic year for Universal Orlando Resort

Historic year for Universal Orlando Resort Universal Orlando picked up the trophy for World’s Leading Theme Resort from the World Travel Awards earlier this year

American Express cardmembers who visit the iconic Universal Orlando Resort will be able to enjoy the benefits of a brand-new air-conditioned lounge with complimentary beverages and electronic charging stations within Universal Studios Florida theme park from May 2012.

This is the latest in a raft of new entertainment and experiences being rolled out by Universal, marking more new developments for 2012 than during any other year in its history.

The stylish American Express Lounge will open to guests who purchase a multi-park ticket or an Annual Pass with their American Express Card at or at the theme park front gate.

The Lounge will provide an air-conditioned space with complimentary chilled beverages and light refreshments. 

Concierge will be available to help guests make dining reservations, or secure tickets and the lounge will be as being equipped with an electronic charging station for guests’ cameras, phones, and other devices.

American Express senior vice president and general manager of the National Client Group, Shane Berry, explained: “We share with Universal Orlando a firm commitment to providing guests with unparalleled customer service, and we are proud to offer our cardmembers this innovative and valuable benefit.”

Open seven days a week, the lounge is conveniently located within Universal Studios Florida, near the Music Plaza and across from Shrek’s Ye Olde Souvenir Shoppe. 

“We are thrilled to be able to offer even more benefits to our guests through the amenities at the American Express Lounge,” said Bill Davis, President of Universal Orlando Resort. 

“It’s the perfect complement to the world-class theme park thrills we offer at Universal Orlando.”

Collaboration on the American Express Lounge is the latest initiative between American Express and Universal.

For the last three years, American Express has been the official card sponsor of Universal’s theme parks, and the partnership also includes working together to create enhanced cardmember experiences associated with Universal’s other properties.

Universal Orlando Resort features two theme parks – Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure; three magnificently themed on-site hotels – Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort; and a night time entertainment complex called CityWalk.

Incredible rides offer exhilarating entertainment, ranging from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter where the wonder, excitement and adventure of the Harry Potter films come to life. 

Guests are invited to enjoy experiences such as soaring above Hogwarts on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, sipping Butterbeer in Hogsmeade and being inside Ollivanders and seeing a wand choose its wizard.

New for 2012

Universal Orlando Resort is rolling out a raft of new rides and experiences in 2012, which began debuting last month. A 36-hole miniature golf experience, Hollywood Drive-In Golf, inspired by the classic drive-in movie era opened in February.

In the summer, the Wet ‘n Wild water park will open its first interactive family water play area. 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.

Meanwhile later this year will see the opening of a 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. 

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 Orlando’s newest attraction, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, will take guests on a 3-D adventure with their favourite 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. The motion-picture event Despicable Me 2 arrives in theatres on July 3, 2013.

Events at Universal

A host of events and shows are taking place at Universal this year to ensure all guests are fully entertained, ranging from Halloween Horror Nights to Harry Potter Home Entertainment Celebration and Mardis Gras.

Guests have been enjoying the exhilarating entertainment of a new Blue Man Group show; and will be able to enjoy in coming months breathtaking new animation and effects in The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man; dancing with their favourite animated characters during Universal’s Superstar Parade and reliving memorable moments from Universal Pictures most powerful films during the night time show Universal’s Cinematic

Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories. Universal Orlando will also be marking the Universal Pictures Centennial Anniversary Celebration during 2012 with a series of events being announced throughout the year.

This year’s Mardi Gras celebration features one of Universal Orlando’s most powerful and diverse musical line-ups ever. With a combined total of more than 350 million albums sold, guests are rocking out this spring to some of the biggest names in music during an authentic and family-friendly version of the famed New Orleans street party.

This Saturday night, Nickelodeon’s hottest music group Big Time Rush will be taking to the stage at Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras celebration. Their debut album “BTR” sold more than 500,000 copies and debuted at No.3 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart.

Meanwhile an elaborate Mardi Gras parade will include, dozens of colourfully costumed performers, authentic New Orleans bands, delicious Cajun cuisine and live concerts by some of today’s most popular artists. This ultimate street party runs every Saturday and select nights through April 14.

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.

100 Years of Movie Memories

Narrated by award-winning actor and recent Golden Globe - Cecil B. DeMille honoree, Morgan Freeman, Universal Orlando’s brand-new night time 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 colourful 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.