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As Jurassic Park celebrates its 25th Anniversary ahead of the release of Universal Pictures' Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, a familiar predator is making an appearance at the "Raptor Encounter." Blue, one of the most popular dinosaurs from Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s blockbuster Jurassic World franchise, is now part of Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort’s exciting “Raptor Encounter” experiences inviting guests to brave the dangerous predator in daring face-to-face standoffs.

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It's been said that "life finds a way," and in 2019 it's going to be evolving... at least in terms of Universal Studios Hollywood and their famed Jurassic Park - The Ride. Announced today, the all-new Jurassic World Ride will be coming to the park next year, drawing from favorite elements of the original ride, but in a next-generation form - a thrill ride that will be "a fully reimagined iteration of the ground-breaking adventure, elevating every facet of the experience. With the introduction of never-before-seen dinosaurs, enhanced storytelling, lush scenic design, an entirely new color scheme and uncompromised state-of the art technology, the ride will capture elements never experienced within a theme park." Now, the "Countdown to Extinction" has begun as guests from around the world are invited to experience the ride before its transformation. Jurassic Park - The Ride will have its finale on September 3, 2018. Check out a teaser below!

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It was rumored right around the time that my girls and I paid a visit to Nintendo of America HQ in Redmond, Washington last fall, and now it's official - a new Super Mario Bros. movie is happening. Nintendo and Illumination are partnering on a movie starring Mario, co-produced by Shigeru Miyamoto and Chris Meledandri. Universal will be distributing the film, but no additional details  are available just yet, making today's news about as simple as it gets.

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It's gonna be another big year at the movies - but will it be at the box office? After a year soft on theater receipts and some less-than-stellar movie tie-ins, JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM is looming on the horizon, prepping for its June 22, 2018 release. While the promotional partners are vast, one returning from 2015's Jurassic World is LEGO Group, and today they've announced a joint partnership with Universal Brand Development for a collection that goes beyond the norm. Like the last time around, they'll offer an expanded line of construction sets, all-new animated content, and, for the first time ever, a lifestyle collection. Among the new collections will be construction sets that span every LEGO age category (Duplo/Juniors/LEGO), as well as two all-new, animated videos, and a collection of soft lines and publishing to reach audiences beyond the toy aisle. A few sets have been revealed this week, with more set to debut at Toy Fair in New York in mid-February (I will be in attendance for that).

When I'm in Los Angeles, one of my favorite places to visit is Universal CityWalk and Universal Studios Hollywood. Since I often stay at the Sheraton Universal, it's just a short walk up the hill and a place that comes with a couple of constant reminders: 1) I need to take my entire family to L.A. soon (my wife and kids have never been to California), and 2) we have to visit Universal Studios. In fact, ever since I saw construction of Hogwarts begin a few years back, the wheels on a trip have been turning, particularly since my wife is a massive Harry Potter fan (she has the wands to prove it). Now comes news that really gives me the bug because it taps into my unusually-high love of Christmas. This year, "Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" is happening, but that's just one piece of what's promised to be "a wintry calendar of festive holiday experiences and an array of delectable treats that families and friends far and wide can enjoy" at Universal this coming season. Here's the rundown on what visitors can expect for 2017...

This Summer, Zen Studios will will bring Universal Classics Pinball, to their popular Pinball platforms for console, PC and mobile. Based on three classic films from Amblin Entertainment and Universal Studios, the new collection will feature gameplay inspired byE.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, and the Back to the Future trilogy. The Universal Classics Pinball pack will release as a part of the launch of the Pinball FX3 platform on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam and Windows 10 (date TBA), while the themed tables will also be available as individual in-app purchases for Zen Pinball on the App Store and Google Play. Check out the gameplay trailer featuring E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial below!

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