Universal Orlando Podcast by Orlando Informer

Orlando Informer

The Orlando Informer Podcast is a weekly vacation planning podcast focused on Universal Orlando Resort. We give you practical advice on the latest tips, tricks, and news coming from all areas of Universal Orlando. This includes in-depth discussions of Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, CityWalk and the on-site hotels.

All Episodes

Universal's just-announced Halloween Seasonal Experience Testing this weekend not only resurrects two haunted houses from this year's cancelled HHN (those being Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives and Revenge of the Tooth Fairy), but it also brings the nighttime event into the daylight hours. Here's the surprisingly rich history behind the move.

Sep 15

38 min

The water rides of Toon Lagoon, the children's attractions of Seuss Landing, the overlooked experience at Springfield, the caves of Jurassic Park – and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man? Find out how all of these can be considered to be underrated.

Sep 12

48 min

This week, we answer your questions on: what's the best tower at Royal Pacific Resort to stay at, how to still have fun at Universal during the age of COVID-19, and how Taylor became the owner of Orlando Informer.

Sep 2

31 min

Join us for a virtual (or is that aural?) tour of the Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store's two new rooms – one's themed to the 1988 classic "Beetlejuice," and the other serves up tons of spooky treats. Then we get into the history of the character of Beetlejuice and the outsize role he's played at Universal Studios Florida since practically day one. (Actually, strike that – reverse it.)

Aug 29

49 min

The food game at Universal Studios Florida has gotten upped yet again in the form of Central Park Crepes, and we have all the juicy details to sink your teeth into. Then Marc and Mike discuss the best way to amaze and awe your newbie Universal friend or family member with on her first visit to the resort.

Aug 15

49 min

This week, we answer your questions on:  the best (and worst) non-Butterbeer Wizarding World drinks, hopping from one club level to another at Universal's hotels, getting your My Universal Photos pictures after the fact (or not), and age limits on wearing masks.

Aug 5

36 min

In an unprecedented move – out here on the East Coast, at least – Universal has decided to cut this year's Halloween Horror Nights, which would've been the event's 30th anniversary. We discuss the thinking behind the move, why 2021's event may still have at least some COVID-19 accommodations, and what the still-opened Tribute Store has in store for guests.

Aug 1

44 min

Magic Kingdom. EPCOT. Hollywood Studios. Animal Kingdom – we've been to them all in the post-COVID-19 period. Here's everything you need to know to get in and still have the most magical of days. (Spoiler: Mike and Michaela have the grandest of times dishing everything Disney.)

Jul 18

58 min

Universal Studios Florida's New York section is, in many ways, the proto-Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley: it's a fully themed land that is teeming with attractions, food venues, shops, and Easter eggs seemingly around every corner. (It also has crisscrossing streets and a nice, quiet park area, furthering the comparison.) Join us as we plunge into the best experiential highlights of this underappreciated area.

Jul 4

66 min

Universal Orlando Resort's three parks have been reopened for two weeks now – how have they continued to fare? We go over the differences in operations, safety practices, and food ordering that we continue to notice.

Jun 20

51 min

The COVID-19 closure may have delayed it, but Universal has finally begun technical rehearsals of its newest stunt show, The Bourne Stuntacular. We walk you through the attraction's overall experience, from its queue and preshow to its on-stage technical wizardry.  

Jun 17

50 min

Not that many people seem to know about the original Hard Rock Cafe Orlando – which is a shame, as it was a marvel of design, and it presaged a number of Universal's rule-bending projects from the years to come. Join us on our historical deep-dive.

Jun 10

32 min

How to hop on the rides, order your food, meet-and-greet with the characters, and go shopping at the newly reopened Universal Orlando Resort. Plus, what's changed at the theme parks during their 80-day closure.

Jun 6

50 min

Universal recently announced all of the new, COVID-19 safety precautions and practices it'll now be implementing at its hotels starting next week. How will this affect checking in, getting your Express Passes, and Early Park Admission?   Also, we quickly go over how the annual passholder sign-up process worked for those preview days on June 3 and 4.  

May 30

23 min

When, exactly, will Universal Orlando Resort reopen after its two-and-a-half-month closure? What parks and hotels will it include? How will experiencing the attractions be different? And what is the one extra precaution LEGOLAND is taking over Universal?   We have all those answers for you – and more.

May 23

31 min

This week, we answer your questions on:  restaurant reservations post-COVID, which Universal hotel has the best club-level offerings, and upgrading your annual pass.

May 20

37 min

We'll walk you through what Universal CityWalk Orlando is like now, just two days after reopening. How does parking work? Or getting your temperature taken before entering the complex? How do you order food or buy merchandise or play putt putt? And, most importantly, what is the atmosphere like during the partial reopening?   We have all those answers for you – and more.

May 16

49 min

This week, we answer your questions on:  how COVID-19 will impact Halloween Horror Nights (and the rest of Universal Orlando) and what you miss the most from the resort.

May 13

41 min

We break down the attractions, shops, food, and our favorite memories in Islands of Adventure's Seuss Landing.

May 9

56 min

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure may have opened almost exactly 20 years apart, but they do have one key quality in common: they are considered some of the best rides ever made in themed history. Let's see who emerges victorious based on these three key criteria: Location/setting Story Technology/ride mechanics   Fight!

May 6

39 min

Let's see who emerges victorious based on these three key criteria:   Location/setting Story Technology/ride mechanics   Fight!

May 2

51 min

Let's talk post-quarantine crowd levels, HHN's 30th anniversary, and theme-park food

Apr 29

43 min

We talk to Dan Cockerell, the former vice president of Magic Kingdom, about his new book, "How's the Culture in Your Kingdom? Lessons from a Disney Leadership Journey." Besides contemplating the meaning of culture and how guests can affect it all across the theme-park resorts, we also manage to sneak in some Disney trivia – oh, and the ultimate Disney wedding proposal, too.

Apr 25

35 min

This week, we answer your questions on:  which intellectual property we'd like to see a ride based on and getting a refund for your theme-park tickets during the COVID-19 closure.

Apr 22

25 min

We break down the attraction(s), shops, food, and the theming of the only land in Islands of Adventure to not be based on an intellectual property.

Apr 18

49 min

This week, we answer your questions on: whether Universal will lower hotel rates because of COVID-19, if there might be any updates to the strategies to get on Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure, and which menu at which in-park restaurant we'd change (and with what!).

Apr 15

34 min

We break down the attractions, shops, food, and our favorite experiences in Islands of Adventure's Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Apr 11

58 min

This week, we answer your questions on: Universal partner hotel benefits, what songs we want to see on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, and how necessary it is to speak English to enjoy Universal Orlando's experiences.

Apr 8

39 min

We break down the attractions, shops, food, and hidden gems at Islands of Adventure's Skull Island and Jurassic Park.

Apr 4

72 min

Five films, lots of action scenes, and even more intrigue and plot twists – the "Jason Bourne" series has lots of material rife for utilization by The Bourne Stuntacular, the imminent stunt show at Universal Orlando Resort. We do a deep dive on it all (including some behind-the-scenes shenanigans!) so you don't have to.

Mar 28

32 min

In this quick, news-centric podcast, we quickly get into how long Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World Resorts will be closed down and what we know regarding the cancellation or rebooking of guests' planned visits during this time.

Mar 14

25 min

We break down the attractions, shops, food, and hidden gems at Islands of Adventure's Toon Lagoon.

Mar 7

51 min

This week, we answer your questions on:  the Mardi Gras Tasting Lanyard and how do you write for Orlando Informer (or theme-park blogs, generally)?

Feb 26

24 min

First, Matthew drops by to talk about his epic (get it?) field trip to New York City for a special Universal and Nintendo contest, and then Michaela interviews Blake Braswell, Show Director at Universal, about this year's 25th anniversary Mardi Gras celebration.

Feb 22

41 min

We break down the attractions, shops, and food at Islands of Adventure's Marvel Super Hero Island.

Feb 15

52 min

We break down the concerts, parade, premium add-ons, and all the food and drinks at what is quickly becoming one of Universal's biggest annual events.

Feb 8

54 min

This week, we answer your questions on:  does Universal Orlando have any can't-miss nighttime shows or parades, upgrading your tickets to an annual pass, and getting on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (hey – that's not Universal!). Plus, we get an epic trip report (and a hot tip) from one of our listeners.

Jan 29

41 min

We have everything you need to know about the first-ever Running Universal event at Universal Orlando Resort, and then we discuss the first confirmed land of Epic Universe, Super Nintendo World.

Jan 25

30 min

The first month of the year has brought the first major Super Nintendo World press conference, in which we received the very first details on the land's various interactive elements, from collecting virtual coins to unlocking Boss Battles.

Jan 18

48 min

This week, we answer your questions on:  the best time of day to ride Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, what benefits a seasonal pass will net you (or not), and whether Captain Marvel is in Marvel Super Hero Island (or not). 

Jan 15

22 min

We're running down all the attraction and hotel openings and annual events that will grace Universal Orlando Resort in 2020.

Jan 11

29 min

This week, we answer your questions on:  best options for Christmas dinner outside of the hotels, what a second ride in Diagon Alley should be, and the possibility of getting more Orlando Informers on the podcast.

Dec 2019

20 min

From the biggest Halloween Horror Nights of all time to the opening of Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure to the announcement of a whole new theme park, 2019 was a MASSIVE year for Universal Orlando Resort. So let's go step by step through it, yes?

Dec 2019

50 min

Green Eggs and Ham Cafe reopens after a lengthy closure with a brand-new menu focused on... tater tots, which just may be the latest theme-park trend. And with New Year's Eve just around the corner, we discuss all of Universal Orlando's celebratory offerings, from the headlining Eve to the various dinners at the hotels.

Dec 2019

26 min

This week, we answer your questions on:  Cabana Bay Beach Resort's shuttles, upcoming renovations at Portofino Bay Hotel, and what's the best land to stay in all day (if you had to!).

Nov 2019

23 min

It's the most wonderful time of the year! We break down all of the various activities that Universal throws across its entire resort for the holidays, from parades and special shows to feasts and exclusive drinks.

Nov 2019

44 min

This week, we answer your questions on:  when the best time to buy your annual pass is and what our favorite places at Universal Orlando are.

Nov 2019

24 min

We have our very first details on next year's Halloween Horror Nights, including its dates and a tease on what to expect from its haunted houses.  Then we quickly touch upon Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites's newly announced opening date and the various food, drink, and dessert-party upcharge options for this year's Holidays celebration.

Nov 2019

30 min

This week, we answer your questions on:  Bayou Boil at Mardi Gras 2020, the meaning behind some of our most commonly used acronyms, and Shutterbutton's at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Nov 2019

26 min

Cue the music.  We break down all of the food, shops, and (most of) the Easter eggs located in Islands of Adventure's first land.

Nov 2019

40 min

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