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Monday, October 9, 2017

A Voodoo Doughnut location might be coming to Universal's CityWalk

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 10:46 AM

click image Voodoo Doughnut at Citywalk Hollywood - IMAGE VIA GRIFFKENTNER | INSTAGRAM
  • Image via Griffkentner | Instagram
  • Voodoo Doughnut at Citywalk Hollywood
Rumors of what the future may hold for CityWalk Orlando are as wild as the sushi burgers and steampunk chocolate creations that have been added to the entertainment complex in the past few years.

While there are still rumblings of In-N-Out and a large arcade-based family entertainment complex coming, in the meantime it looks like we might be getting yet another West Coast favorite.

With the cupcake craze now all but dead, the latest trend on the coasts is boutique doughnut shops, and few are as infamous as Portland, Oregon-based Voodoo Doughnut.

The "Voodoo Oil"-infused doughnut shop has become a staple of hipster enclaves like Portland, Denver and Austin.

Founded by two guys, one named Tres and one who goes by the nickname Cat Daddy, Voodoo Doughnut first opened in 2003 in Portland. In the 14 years since, the doughnut chain has become known for weird marketing schticks, like selling boxes of doughnuts in wooden coffins and giving away Voodoo Doughnut underwear.

With these oddball marketing ploys, the small chain has gained a cult-like following. Lines regularly stretch around the block at many locations, and weddings are performed inside some of the shops on a semi-regular basis. In a move straight out of the 1980s Waffle House playbook, the doughnut shop even has its own recording label.

The doughnuts are well beyond your typical Boston Creme here. While the NyQuil-glazed doughnuts are long gone, you can still find ones shaped like blunts, dipped in Tang, or sporting vanilla frosting pentagrams.

The first California location opened at CityWalk Hollywood earlier this year. That shop is a bit more family-friendly than most of the other shops. It accepts credit cards and, sadly, doesn’t offer in-shop legal wedding packages. Some of the less family-friendly doughnuts, like a giant crème-filled chocolate-glazed penis-shaped doughnut, that are often spotted at the other locations aren't listed on the menu at the Hollywood location.

click image A display-only tribute doughnut dedicated to Harmbe - IMAGE VIA VOODOO DOUGHNUT | FACEBOOK
  • Image via Voodoo Doughnut | Facebook
  • A display-only tribute doughnut dedicated to Harmbe
It does offer the over-the-top themed doughnuts, including the display-only tribute doughnuts dedicated to celebrities after they pass away. The pink box-inspired gifts for sale fill an entire wall, and the whimsical decor fills nearly every inch of the space.

The rumors of where the CityWalk Orlando location might go are down to three likely spots, and all mean a current tenant has got to go. The Cinnabon spot seems obvious but not actually that likely. The Fossil Store will likely close in the coming years, but it doesn’t sound like that’s where Voodoo will end up. Just next door the Quiet Flight Surf Shop, which has been rumored to be closing for years now, is a strong second-place contender. But the most likely location is the Element store near the NBC Sports Grill & Brew. The skateboard shop, tucked away from the rest of the food-heavy entertainment district, has been struggling for years.

Universal Orlando news site Orlando Informer points to a half-off everything in the store sale that began last month and claims that “employees there have been openly speaking of the transition to guests.”

The Element store is directly along the pedestrian path for most guests entering Universal Studios Florida so a breakfast option would make sense here. Plus, the neon-heavy signage of Voodoo Doughnut would be a welcome addition to this façade.

The vegan-friendly line of doughnuts at Voodoo would also be a welcome addition to Universal Orlando. The biggest question is how these world-famous doughnuts might impact sales of the giant pink Lard Lad Doughnuts just inside Universal Studios Florida.

  • Image via Voodoo Doughnut | Facebook
With Orlando being one of the top spots for honeymooners and with our easy-to-appease rules around marriage officiants there's at least a slight chance that this Voodoo Doughnut will embrace the weddings some of the other locations have. The Element store is large enough it could even house a mini Voodoo wedding chapel for all those lovers on their Orlando vacations.

If current speculation is accurate, we should see Voodoo Doughnut’s first Florida location open at CityWalk Orlando by summer 2018, so make sure to get your ballpark-inspired hot dogs, high-end Whoppers, and milkshakes topped with the entire bakery cravings out of the way before the hipsters discover CityWalk.

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