CoasterMatt headed up to Universal Studios the other day and shared with us some amazing pictures. The entire skyline of the park has changed for good and everything is certainly getting more EPIC.
We'll take a look at Hogwarts from pretty much every angle you can see it from today ... and it's a LOT of angles. Be sure to check out Matt's Flickr page for more amazing pictures.
Pictures by CoasterMatt
Written by Gregg Condon
The transformation of Universal Hollywood is evident miles away from the park, as you can now see Hogwarts from the 170 freeway.
Sittin' in LA traffic ... just watching a castle get built.
Down on the lower side, pedestrian bridge construction is continuing as well.
♪ Everything is EPIC ♪
Who ever knew roadwork could be so EPIC. If you can count how many EPIC signs are in this picture you win absolutely nothing.
Heading into the park, still lots of walls where Nothing of Horror is.
Sadly the beautiful Universal Plaza is no longer going to be what people are looking at as they walk down the main drag of the park.
Beetlejuice is all ... yeah, that's Hogsmeade. What about it.
And boom, now it's Hogsmeade.
Pretty much the only reason to go into the Shrek queue.
So you can pretty much see the Hogwarts towers from anywhere in the upper lot, and a good portion of the tram tour.
New Studio Tour entry sign, and the tower.
Heading to the Tram, and oh, there's the tower
Hmmm, what are they hiding in there?
Chillin' at CityFood in CityWalk ... and guess what, there's the tower.
Matt trying to pull off his best JJ Abrams lens flare, and you guessed it ...
Hey look, it's the Collapsing Brid ... I mean Hogwarts.
But in all seriousness, this is pretty exciting for those of us who grew up with this park. To see such an amazing transformation (some would call it EPIC) is pretty awesome.
Another look at the rest of the Forbidden Journey ride building.
This is an amazing picture of the entrance to King Kong 360 3D ... is that, oh, it's Hogwarts again. =)
Ok, time to move on. The historical Stage 28 is now a storage area. Hey, all those barriers for Halloween Horror Nights have to go somewhere.
Lastly, the building for Fast and Furious is starting to take shape a bit. You can see where it will have an entry facade like King Kong does, but obviously Fast and Furious'y, not King Kong'y.
Alright, that's gonna wrap it up for this update. We should have another USH update very soon. Hope you enjoyed the update.
It's 2015, and this year is going to bring one new attraction and one new land to Universal Studios Hollywood. We'll take a similar look at The Simpsons in a few weeks, but we thought we'd take a look at the past of Fast and Furious at the park.
One attraction based on the one movie that has nothing to do with the other 6 using cool technology, but with REALLY bad execution, and another capitalizing on the continuing popularity of the franchise with great new technology. We just hope the story will be great on the new one.
Written by Gregg Condon
The Year is 2006. The first two Fast and Furious movies have been moderately successful. At least successful enough to justify a second sequel. So what does Universal Studios do? Pulls a "Halloween" and totally goes away from what made the first two movies successful and moves the series to Tokyo. Unlike Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, Tokyo Drift isn't going to turn into a classic.
But that didn't stop them from putting in a tram attraction featuring some "sets" and effects from the movie.
The attraction starts by showing us some effects that were apparently in the movie.
Such as gunfire
And actual fire
Now it's time to combine the effects
And the cars fly through the air with the help of Kuka arm technology
So if that was the end of the attraction, that would have been fine. Some water, some fire, some cars flying through the air.
But unfortunately for Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift, this wasn't the end. Because it's modern, and pop culture and hip, fire and water and cars flying apparently isn't enough. And these cars have to dance.
Cue Gasolina by Daddy Yankee (Click at your own risk) and the cars dancing and flipping and finally bowing to the audience.
The stage where Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift was is still there, between the "Universal Cars" and "Jurassic Park" sets. If you look closely today, you can still see some of the prop pieces inside.
Mercifully, in 2013 this attraction closed for good, as it was REALLY bad. I don't think it matters if you are a fan of the franchise or not, a bad attraction is a bad attraction.
Thankfully, in mid 2014 Universal announced a new Fast and Furious attraction for the Tram Tour replacing the Tomb of the Mummy. Thankfully they aren't re-purposing the spinning tunnel once again, but have a new state of the art building under construction.
Below, you'll see what the site looked like throughout 2014, starting with April.
By June 2014 the frame was going up.
September 2014, still a lot of frame on one of the buildings ...
While the other building was almost fully enclosed
By October there really wasn't much to see but a big square building
Looking back through our November/December/January updates, there really hasn't been a whole lot of change in this area.
Some more artwork of the attraction which promises to use the amazing technology used in King Kong 360 3D along with practical sets.
Fast and Furious Supercharged is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2015. Once we get a firm opening date we'll certainly be sharing it with you.
So what do you think about the new attraction coming to the tram tour? Are you excited about something new? Do you like the theme? Ready to see how the same technology they used for King Kong 360 3D is plussed with actual sets? Be sure to let us know in the comments.
Can you believe we are about 14-16 months away from Wizarding World being open at Universal Studios Hollywood and only a few months away from Springfield and Fast and Furious? It's ridiculously crazy ... and also ridiculously awesome.
As you'll see below, they are working at Lightning Scar speed to get these attractions open as soon as possible. And yet, Disneyland hasn't announced any E-Tickets to compete with any of this. But expect price increases any day now. =)
* All pictures by CoasterMatt
House of Horrors is no more
What's this I see peeking over yonder?
The new entrance for Shrek ... but really, how much life does this attraction REALLY have left?
New "Plaza" type area in front of Animal Actors and Production Central. I'm actually pretty impressed at how much open space they were able to get out of this area.
That's a LOT of open space for Potter World queue switch-backs. =)
Moving over to Springfield, themed elements are starting to show up on the buildings
You can see where Springfield ends on the right, and where Hogsmeade begins on the left. Still interested to see how they are going to pull this one off.
And last but certainly not least, a look at Hogwarts, complete with pointy stuff.
The Skyline of Universal Studios Hollywood is forever changed, at least for the rest of our lifetimes.
That's going to wrap it up for this update, with all the work going on and how quickly it's going, I'd expect we'll have another USH update very soon.