[ General ]

Orlando Attractions Have Something Special Underway

A number of sharp-eyed fans have spotted the rooftop of a structure rising in Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter that looks an awful lot like Hagrid’s Hut, home of the half-giant character from the Potter novels and movies.

Looks like those fans nailed it.

Building permits pulled by Universal for the much-anticipated, highly secretive Potter project show that the resort is indeed constructing Hagrid’s Hut. The setting, according to the permits, is being built for Universal by the Nassal Co. of Orlando, which specializes in themed construction projects.

While the permits offer few details, it appears Hagrid’s Hut will be mostly for display purposes. The documents suggest the interior of the building will be used for prop storage.

“Hagrid’s Hut is an unoccupied themed prop structure,” according to one permit description.

A dream is a wish . . .

With Walt Disney World‘s latest attraction, the American Idol Experience, formally open in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the company is kicking its vaunted publicity machine into full gear.

Billboards have sprouted around Orlando featuring a slogan for the attraction that ties a quintessential Disney character to a production that’s otherwise best known for airing on FOX.

The slogan: “Be part of the next Cinderella story.”

Cypress Gardens changes

Cypress Gardens is getting ready to announce new management this week, according to the park’s lawyer and spokesman, Rick Dantzler.

The small Winter Haven theme park, known for its botanical gardens, ski shows and Southern belles, closed in November after struggling with low attendance. The owners plan to reopen in late March with a new game plan that involves eliminating the park’s amusement rides and focusing on the original gardens and a water park that is popular with locals.

The new management will replace Baker Leisure Group, an Orlando-based company that ended its management role at the park last summer.

Under its new structure, Cypress Gardens will likely have two admission prices: one for the gardens only, and another that includes the water park.

Information courtesy of Orlando Sentinel
Image property of Universal Orlando Resort