Historic Expansion Kicks off an Epic Year for Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando's CityWalk will undergo a historic expansion during 2014 - all part of an epic year for Universal that will include the opening of the destination's largest hotel, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley.
Universal Orlando announced Thursday that it will open eight new venues across CityWalk throughout 2014 as part of a bold growth strategy designed to complement the entertainment complex's already popular collection of national brands.
The expansion comes after a nationwide search for culinary concepts that include a mix of established national brands, up-and-coming concepts and Universal's own creations. The new venues will share an overall theme that includes inviting common areas, al fresco dining, open kitchens and more.
"We want Universal CityWalk to grow along with the rest of our destination," said Ric Florell, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Resort Revenue Operations at Universal Orlando. "We are bringing our guests an amazing new collection of experiences that will be world-class and offer something for everyone."
The new venues include Hot Dog Hall of Fame, featuring iconic hot dog creations from some of our nation’s most famous ball parks. Universal partnered with Steven Schussler, the global culinary concept creator behind popular restaurants like Rain Forest Cafe, Backfire Barbecue and more, to bring his Hot Dog Hall of Fame concept to CityWalk. They also include CowFish, an innovative and trend-setting concept out of Charlotte, North Carolina with a signature dish called "Burgushi;" and popular frozen treat spots Cold Stone Creamery and Menchie’s.
Original concepts include Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, a unique, vibrant dining experience, Bread Box, a home-style sandwich shop; A new modern Italian kitchen concept, where guests can watch as the culinary team handcrafts their pasta from scratch; and Red Oven Pizza Bakery – Universal’s first-ever Neopolitan-style pizza bakery, which is now open.
A full list of new venues and descriptions can be found below. Exact opening dates will be released at a later time.
Since its opening in 1999, Universal CityWalk has served as the “entertainment capital of Orlando,” quickly becoming the hottest place in town among locals and visitors to grab a bite to eat, catch a movie, dance the night away and more. The two-tiered, 30-acre complex features a collection of nightclubs, restaurants and shops themed after some of the most recognizable names in entertainment, including Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom, Emeril’s Restaurant Orlando, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Universal CityWalk is also home to Rising Star – an energetic karaoke club where guests can perform with a live band and backup singers, the 36-hole mini-golf course, Hollywood Drive-In Golf, and the indescribable, nationally-renowned live show, Blue Man Group.