Seasonal Food Festival

Jonathan

V.I.P.
Jan 9, 2013
681
With Disneyland Resort, Knott's Berry Farm and SeaWorld San Diego all have food festivals, should Universal throw their hat into the ring and do one as well? If so, what kind of theme would best suit Universal? And where could they place it? 
 
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Jul 30, 2016
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Personally, I think a food festival is a bit ambitious seeing as we seem to have trouble opening the Grab-N-Go places we already have, but I digress.


If USH hosted a food festival, I think the best way to organize it would be to have a central hub in the Universal Plaza, with five or six booths set up around the outside and seating in the middle. In addition to that, there would be a few small booths set up in the various areas around the park, themed to fit into their surroundings (e.g., Fish & Chips in Baker St., Egyptian Themed by RotM). This is using the Epcot Food & Wine festival as a template, I'm not sure how they did it at California Adventure.


For a theme, I think the best way to go would be bringing it back to either classic (Universal) films and film franchises or do a sort of "Old Hollywood" theme. In the last decade, the park has become less focused on Universal IP, with fewer and fewer attractions based on NBCUniversal properties. With Super Nintendo World coming down the pipe, so to speak, that trend will only continue. In my opinion, since one of the very few remaining things that separated USH from "Unique Park-Going Experience" and "UO, but with less stuff" is the active movie and television studio and accompanying Studio Tour, I'd like to see them acknowledge that aspect a bit more.
 
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k_peek_2000

Veteran Member
Jul 2, 2013
2,301
Orange County, CA
Knott's, SeaWorld, and Disney (to some extent) already have top notch food offerings usually led by an innovative master chef. SeaWorld has Axel Dirolf, Disney has Andrew Sutton, and Knott's has Bobby Obezo who are all fairly renowned for the culinary work. To be completely honest, I am not sure who the Executive chef at Universal is (or if they even have one).


A food festival would be ballsy given the park's track record with food. Plus CityWalk is basically becoming a year round food festival by itself.
 
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Jon Fu

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
Staff member
Jul 26, 2010
2,840
California
To be completely honest, I am not sure who the Executive chef at Universal is (or if they even have one).
They do - it's Eric Kopelow. I like his output, but the park's control quality really varies. I agree, I'm not sure I'd want Universal to have a food festival given their track record. Harry Potter has been fairly consistent, but everything else deteriorates over time.
 
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Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
3,801
No man's land: SoCal
I...just....don't think of Universal having a food Festival. I don't think of a Studios park having a good Festival event. What would the theme be? 


Harry Potter and the Great Forbidden Feast? 


Despicable Feast? 


Doc Brown's Fried Fest? 


Krusty's Barf and Booze Festival? 


I cant think of any theme that would make sense. SFMM doesn't do one either so USH isn't the only one not doing one. Technically Disneyland doesn't either. 
 

Alexshow.

Veteran Member
Feb 2, 2013
2,336
Arizona.
I don't think its particularly necessary, for the reason that TF mentioned.


Citywalk, much like when Orlando got its renaissance, is becoming much more of a diverse spot for food and drink options; and that with more to come in the future, it may be; somewhat unnecessary.
 

Allia

Rookie
Nov 19, 2015
112
I...just....don't think of Universal having a food Festival. I don't think of a Studios park having a good Festival event. What would the theme be? 


Harry Potter and the Great Forbidden Feast? 


Despicable Feast? 


Doc Brown's Fried Fest? 


Krusty's Barf and Booze Festival? 


I cant think of any theme that would make sense. SFMM doesn't do one either so USH isn't the only one not doing one. Technically Disneyland doesn't either. 
I'd go for the "Harry Potter and the Great Forbidden Feast" if it's anything like dining in the Great Hall haha
 

Tyler Crouch

Inside Universal Editor
Feb 17, 2014
156
Glendale, CA.
I think a food festival would be awesome. I'm all for it simply because I would love if Universal did more events in general. I feel like something new is happening at Disneyland all the time, I'd love to feel the same way about Universal.


I mention this on an upcoming podcast but I think it would be a fun idea to treat the guest like a movie star and have craft services as a theme.


Or maybe they could make friends with famous Hollywood restaurants and serve food from around the neighborhood. Tourists could try food from multiple world famous restaurants all at one location.


I'm not sure though that it REALLY needs a theme at all. Food and Wine at California Adventure just spells it out for you, very little theme, celebrates the food. I think that works well. I personally believe that naming items from television shows and movies would just cheapen the entire event.


The most pertinent question, however, is: Would Universal's audience care about a food festival? Knott's has the BBQ/Picnic vibe on lock and a number Disney fans enjoy being fancypants.  Universal's event would have to be more upscale than Boysenberry fest but I fear they will scare their audience away with something closer to Food and Wine. Where does Universal fit in?
 
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WAJAS98

Veteran Member
Aug 15, 2014
3,250
--Classified--
Does USH even have enough room for a successful food festival that doesn't cause a phase closing? I know Disney's happens at the less crowded and larger DCA. Knott's and SWSD are parks with less attendance as well.