On Tuesday Universal Studios unveiled a new mural by Kelsey Montague in CityWalk which is sure to be a popular photo spot.
We also headed into the park to take a look at all of the projects going on inside.
Written by Gregg Condon
Kelsey Montague showing off her new mural, lots of amazing detail.
Some nice detail shots of the new mural
Let's head into the park and see what's going on.
As announced last week an all new nighttime show is coming to Wizarding World starting in June. Here you can see the projection mapping do-dad's.
For those who think the Shrek building is going anywhere when it closes, think again.
Speaking of Shrek, as we reported last week Shrek 4D is closing in August.
We'll definitely do a full walk-through of the ride, queue and more before it closes for a future update (minus the actual film of course).
There are a lot of small projects going on around the studios. Here you can see the land being cleared for new soundstages to replace the ones that were removed for future theme park use.
Speaking of future theme park use ... they are continuing to expand the Starway in anticipation of new attractions on the lower lot. Imagine that, once again, a park expanding their ability to get people around before new things open. =)
You can start to see the new Starway taking shape
One of the new escalators is already being installed.
The new covering is starting to take shape on the upper-most level of the Starway. It looks a bit odd at the moment, sure it will look fine when it's done. It's totally just my OCD. =)
So why are they doing all of this?
Because something is going on here.
They are digging some holes
They are also doing some some work near the Metro sets, couldn't get close enough to see what's going on. Could be for HHN as they did announce two mazes are currently being constructed.
Here is the maze that we know is being constructed
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for this update. We'll be back at Universal next week for the "Grand Opening" of Voodoo Donuts. So I'm sure we'll have another update with that.
Mummy says what's up and be sure to check out my new movie in a few weeks.
This morning we're taking a look at Universal Studios Hollywood where construction is starting to pick up again after a slow-down after Wizarding World Opened.
We'll update you on the goings on and have some fun speculation as to what's happening on the lower lot
Written by Gregg Condon
Some of these pics are from Saturday (March 4) and some are from Wednesday (March 8). We'll point out the differences so you can see how much has changed in just a few days.
Work is still continuing around the globe out in front of the park (although it could be done by now ;) )
This definitely isn't done yet.
We totally love the Streetmosphere at Universal Studios.
More concrete work going on
On Saturday Stages 22 - 24 were still standing
By Wednesday it looked like this. Rumors are Stage 25 will be gone today.
To support whatever it is they are building on the Lower Lot they are also adding another Starway.
New wraps on the wall on the upper lot.
So what does this all mean and what's this all for?
At this point it's pretty clear this is for NintendoLand (or whatever it is they end up calling it). You now have a pretty big space where the soundstages were, rumors are the restaurants where Panda Express is will be gone after the summer and you also have the space that was cleared when Stage 28 was removed.
Now the original rumor was that the Stage 28 space was going to be for a Secret Life of Pets ride, based on absolutely no evidence we are of the opinion that this is no longer going to happen.
First off, the ride was never "officially" announced. Remember when Universal unveiled their new logo last year, that was when everybody thought they were going to announce Secret Life of Pets.
Let's look at the timeline here:
So let's assume that a Secret Life of Pets ride was in the planning stages and was going to be announced in either April or June 2016. Think it's a pretty safe assumption. But then something happened in May 2016, Universal announced a partnership with Nintendo.
Obviously Universal Creative is constantly working on new attractions and they were going to have "back up's" if Nintendo didn't happen. But then it did, and why not have MORE space for Nintendo instead of a Secret Life of Pets ride?
Now this isn't to say SLOP is never going to happen, it very well could. But the original rumor is that it was going to open THIS year in the former spot of Stage 28. There is still NOTHING there. Let's say they started building the ride today in that spot, you're probably talking 12-18 months before opening. That's a full 1 1/2 to 2 years after the movie came out.
On the other hand you have Nintendo which is all of a sudden relevant again after the disastrous Wii U, you've got a new Zelda game, new Mario later this year and an amazing new console (which we'll have a review of next week, so stay tuned). Seems like a no-brainer to us, you use as much space for Nintendo as you can.
We could be TOTALLY off-base here, but we don't think we are.
UPDATE: The following pictures were taken on March 10, as you can see all of the stages are gone.
Alright, enough with the fun speculation, back to stuff that's totally happening, like some nice work to keep Super Silly Fun Land looking Super and Silly.
Last Saturday Voodoo Donuts was still walled up and closed
This is going to be an awesome combo!!
Wednesday Voodoo Donuts is all ready to go, rumors of a soft opening today and public opening tomorrow. But we'll update when we have more info.
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for this update, we hope you enjoyed some fun speculation about the future of the park, we sure enjoyed writing it up.
What do you think? Are we totally off-base here? Let us know in the comments below.
Yesterday we were invited out to Universal Studios Hollywood to check out their always great Lunar New Year Event and once again it didn't disappoint at all.
Back are all of the amazing character interactions, great food and beautiful backdrop. As you'll see below it was an absolutely beautiful day at the park.
We'll also take a look at some of the many projects going on around the park.
Written by Gregg Condon
Happy Lunar New Year!!
It's the year of the Rooster
New characters this year are Tigress and Po from Kung Fun Panda.
Tigress is ready to fight, Po is just Po.
For fans of the films there are a few Easter Eggs
Once again you can leave a message in one of the trees, a great touch that we did. Sadly not in Mandarin. We're a bit rusty. ;)
Mandarin Megatron is back and awesome as ever.
Sorry your store got torn down Woody (more on that below) but it's always great seeing you out in the park.
Moving on. There are no major new attractions coming to the park this year, but that doesn't mean that there aren't a plethora of smaller projects going on at the park right now.
Cartooniversal has been completely removed as we showed you in our last update, but we figured we'd take a closer look this time since crowds were light.
Taking advantage of these views that we won't get to see forever.
In addition, Waterworld is closed for refurbishment.
Some cement work going on outside of Shrek
It was an absolutely beautiful day to take in the Studio Tour
From the tour you can see all the work being done to add in the 4th Starway escalator
If you haven't seen Kubo yet you really need to. It's so amazing.
Boo, no HHN maze. :(
We saw this a LOT during our Tour. This was the busiest I'd seen the lot in years. So much so that our tour really only lasted about 35-40 minutes.
Not much change in the former location of Stage 28
Sorry for the weird shot here, wasn't expecting Jaws to be closed, but here it is. If you look at the details you can see the shark fins and more. Looks to be a pretty extensive refurb which is odd because it just had one maybe 1 1/2 years ago?
Moving back to the park, work continues for the new Starway
Which means an update for the Mummy Lockers to make room
One last note, they are doing some work on the stage in Hogsmeade.
As always, we absolutely love seeing the characters at the park.
"There's nothing better than a cigar lit with a hundred dollar bill!"
It was a beautiful chilly day in the park which of course meant Hot Butterbeer!!
This was also our first chance to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey with the 2D 120 Frames Per Second and we LOVED it. Absolutely no nausea for any of us, the sets and screens blended perfectly and it was a great experience. I love that they are making little tweaks to improve an already amazing ride experience.
Out in CityWalk, work continues on Margaritaville.
Do have to say, the sign is in a weird place, you really can't see it until you are right in front of it due to the iFly right next to it. But we do hope the restaurant does well.
Finally some work being done on Voodoo Donuts!!
We can't wait for this to open!!
Now that the Christmas Tree is gone we can see the full outside of the new Universal Cinema. It looks amazing!!
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for this update, we hope you enjoyed it.
Be sure to plan some time to check out Lunar New Year. It runs now through February 5th. You can find out more information about the event here.