Alicia Stella

Let’s take a look at changes around Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, and some of the news this week from the resort.

This week marks the official start of Team Member previews for the Jurassic World VelociCoaster and the final weekend for the extended Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnival, so we’re checking in on some of the new things around the resort in this photo update.

First up, exterior work on CityWalk’s new Universal Studios Store is finally wrapping up. Despite opening a few weeks ago, exterior work was still being completed. A globe design is being added above the entrance.

Heading into the parks, park maps are finally back after being absent for a couple months.

The Blue Man Group sign near the front of the park has been removed, now that the show has permanently closed, but a box is covering up the ground until work is completed.

And speaking of Blue Man Group, you can find leftover merchandise on clearance from the former show at the gift shop near the park’s exit.

Mardi Gras was extended through May 2nd, but with the event wrapping up, you can purchase all related merchandise at 50% off, including face masks.

With Spring Break finally over the crowds have somewhat calmed down, although weekends are still busy enough for the parks to reach capacity. Some rides were only 10 to 15 minute waits during this week, with even Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure reaching a 25 minute standby at one point.

This is your last chance to get Mardi Gras food festival items. Luckily your purchased tasting lanyards will not expire, but they will only be good for some snacks, like churros and popcorn, as well as bottled soda after this weekend.

The JAWS photo op has returned to Universal Studios Florida’s San Francisco area after being absent for refurbishment for several months. However, it is still missing the ropes, so it looked like he’s smiling for photos!

It looks like Fast and Furious: Supercharged is no longer running separated preshows, instead routing queue through the two preshow rooms. This way the line moves through as the Team Members continue their performances as usual, but guests may only see part of the preshow as they pass.

Work is going on for what could be pavement repairs between San Francisco and King’s Cross Station.

The snack stand inside of the Hogwarts Express queue remains closed as riders cannot remove their masks in the queue or on the ride.

Prior to loading Team Members show a photo of the surveillance camera’s location inside of each cabin and warn guests they are under active surveillance during the ride. With the ride only loading one party per cabin, this is to help keep guests from bad behavior.

A prerecorded spiel is also played over speakers before the train disembarks reminding guests they are being watched.

At Islands of Adventure, play areas for Seuss Landing and Jurassic Park have reopened for the first time since the parks reopened last year.

If I Ran the Zoo play area has reopened, and was recently refreshed, but the flag no longer contains the name of the area.

The name can still be found in other places around the area and on directional signs though. The area looks great, and it’s good to have play areas back open for guests.

Heading to Jurassic Park, the VelociCoaster sign facing the walkway has been updated with the grand opening date now added.

Team Member previews are happening right now, and the first guests will be allowed to ride during Annual Passholder previews beginning this Sunday.

Camp Jurassic has reopened, and looks great with newly landscaped areas.

Kids can play, but guests must keep their masks on inside the area.

You can also get some unique views of the VelociCoaster from the second story walkways around the Camp Jurassic caves.

You can see more of the reopened Camp Jurassic area and views of the VelociCoaster in the video below.

That’s all for now, but be sure to follow along during the next few days as we share our coverage of the official previews for the Jurassic World VelociCoaster, including inside the queue, new merchandise, our reviews and more!