Today we have a very quick update from Universal Studios Hollywood as work continues on the upper lot in preparations for Wizarding World's opening in under 2 months.
This is also the last weekend for Lunar New Year so if you missed our update of that great event be sure to check it out here.
Written by Gregg Condon
SO much room outside the park now. Lots of room for switch backs and long queues. =)
With the new EZ Rez plan they are really encouraging people to get their tickets online prior to arriving at the park. I honestly can't remember the last time I bought a park ticket at the actual park. Maybe Adventureland in Iowa?
Inside the park, great new brickwork in front of the Universal Store.
Lots more details are starting to show up on the buildings.
Still not much to see on this side.
Not a whole lot of room for people to walk, so bring your patience if you head to the park.
Lots of Universal employees on hand to help direct crowds.
Hadn't noticed these before. Are they new? Anybody?
Of course, we couldn't come to USH and not have a few Wizarding World pictures.
They are pretty much testing music and effects every day now, so you can hear lots of great stuff.
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for this update. Sorry we didn't get down to the lower lot to look at Jurassic Park during our visit. We'll make it a priority next time.
Yesterday we were invited out for a preview of the great Lunar New Year celebration at Universal Studios Hollywood.
We got to spend some time in the Universal Plaza in the fabulous sunshine and see all of the great stuff that is out for this years festival.
For more information on the Lunar New Year at Universal Studios click here. The event runs through Feb 14.
Written by Gregg Condon
Time to celebrate the year of the Monkey
Love the Universal Plaza and that they can transform it so many different ways throughout the year. This just looks beautiful.
Banners up for all the different years of the Chinese Zodiac where you can look to see what animal represents you.
I'm the year of the Rabbit, but I'll let you guess what year. ;)
Because it's the year of the Monkey, Curious George is out to greet guests.
Obligatory selfie with George.
Hey, what's that lurking behind us?
Mandarin Megatron is also out again for 2016.
Lots of tasty food offerings are available and were out for us to check out.
We'll be back out at the park on Sunday for a little pre Super Bowl fun so we'll definitely try some of these.
Brief interlude as Gregg tries to get artsy with blossoms and Wizarding World.
Guests are also invited to write messages for the New Year and place them on the plum blossoms.
We saw messages in English, Spanish and of course Mandarin. It's a great tradition.
Be sure you check out the Lunar New Year at Universal Studios, it's definitely not to be missed.
We'll have our normal Universal Studios Update early next week so be sure to check back for that.
Below is some additional information on the Universal Studios Hollywood new "Tiered" pricing that was introduced this morning. Normally we'd put this in "Industry News" and let the press release speak for itself, but we felt in this case a bit of additional thoughts on this is needed.
We'll post the release below and share our thoughts at the bottom.
Universal Studios Hollywood Introduces EZ Rez, an Innovative, Easy-to-Use
Online Ticket Reservation System Designed to Deliver Top Tier Consumer Benefits
EZ Rez Offers First-Time Ever Date Specific Tickets,
Early Entry to Select Attractions and Advance Online Purchase Savings
Universal City, California, February 2, 2016 – Starting today and for the first time ever, Universal Studios Hollywood is introducing EZ Rez™, an innovative, easy-to-use online ticket purchasing system featuring an array of new consumer benefits designed to enhance visits to The Entertainment Capital of L.A. as the world-class destination continues its unparalleled investment in an ambitious epic transformation.
In addition to affording guests the unique opportunity of booking date specific tickets, EZ Rez ticket holders will be able to benefit from early entry to “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” when the immersive land officially opens on April 7. Early admission to the land will begin one hour prior to park opening.
As an added benefit, guests purchasing admission tickets and annual passes via EZ Rez will also enjoy premium savings with all advanced online transactions. Anytime admission tickets will continue to be available.
The past five years have been a remarkable time for Universal Studios Hollywood as the destination embarked on an unprecedented revitalization that has substantially altered over 75 percent of its familiar footprint to effectively characterize it as an entirely new experience and theme park.
With the much anticipated arrival of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” opening on April 7, and the recent addition of “Fast & Furious: Supercharged” as the grand finale to the world-famous Studio Tour, expansive themed lands including “Springfield” and “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem,” next generation thrill rides such as “Transformers: The Ride 3D,” amplified experiences such as the recently introduced “Nighttime Studio Tour” and the new “Special Effects Show,” Universal Studios Hollywood is continually exploring new, groundbreaking ways to ensure guests have the best possible experience, both in advance and upon their arrival.
More information is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com. Like Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook and follow @UniStudios on Instagram and Twitter.
Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM, includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour; the CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex, the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue. World-class rides and attractions include the renowned, behind-the-scenes Studio Tour featuring the intense “King Kong 360 3-D” attraction and the all-new “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” thrill ride as the Studio Tour’s grand finale. Other popular rides include the 3D-HD adventure, “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and immersive “Super Silly Fun Land,” the critically-acclaimed mega-attraction, “Transformers™: The Ride-3D,” “Revenge of the MummySM—The Ride,” “Jurassic Park® —The Ride,” “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons RideTM” and the “Nighttime Studio Tour.”
When you first hear the term "tiered pricing" many first thoughts go to "unnecessary price raises on certain days". In our opinion that's not what this is about at all. Sure, Universal wants to make money, they are a business. But this seems more of a way for them to pre-plan for crowds by encouraging people to pre-purchase tickets and passes.
The gate price is not increasing. It's currently $95 and it's staying that way. At minimum you will save $5 per ticket by purchasing online. Some days you can save as much as $15. So this is really a way for them to encourage people to go on "slower" days.
Wizarding World is absolutely unprecedented in the history of this park. It's safe to say nobody is quite sure what to expect or what the impact will truly be. Remember, last year when Fast and Furious opened they had to shut down parking mid-day. And that was Fast and Furious. This is OBVIOUSLY much bigger.