Halloween Horror Nights ended just about 3 weeks ago and at this point is pretty much gone from all of the area's of Universal Studios Hollywood. In it's place is lots of candy canes, christmas trees and holiday cheer.
And of course, there's Wizarding World which is getting closer to opening with each passing day.
Written by Gregg Condon
We'll of course start off with Wizarding World, get used to this view because it's pretty much done at this point. Was quite surprised to see that at least one person was surprised Wizarding World is being built. I guess us nerds just take it for granted that everybody should know by now.
But no worries, I have the feeling we'll be inundated with Wizarding World everywhere very soon. Probably around the same time we're done being inundated with Star Wars stuff.
Speaking of Wizarding World, the park released the first Virtual Tour video last week. Be sure to check it out.
The view from the Studio Tour Bridge. Don't think we'll ever get tired of this view.
View from the Shrek queue ... once those trees grow in you won't be able to see the castle much.
I see wings!!!
Moving on, the Holiday's are taking over the park now
And of course the CityWalk Christmas Tree
And of course there are plenty of other smaller projects going on around the park to get ready for the influx of Potterheads.
Lastly, we always like to feature a picture of one of the amazing in-park characters, but this is a new one for us. =)
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for today's update, we hope you enjoyed. Be sure to check back in a few weeks for our full coverage of Grinchmas.
This past Saturday we stopped in for a quick trip to Universal Studios Hollywood as we were in the area and were hoping to just bring you a short update today. That turned into quite a large update as you'll see below. There's lots of great stuff going on at the park that we wanted to let you know about.
Hope you've got your red-cup of coffee ready today. ;)
Written by Gregg Condon
UPDATE: Universal Studios Hollywood has releases pricing for the 2016 prices, see below.
Note: All of these passes contain blackout days, which isn't a surprise. Considering we'd heard rumors of there possibly being NO Annual Passes for 2016 (or the first half of 2016) this is likely the best we were going to get.
Also, none of these passes contain parking, so prepare to have to pay or use Metro.
Before we get started, I'm not sure if most people even realize USH has a France section of the park. We didn't notice any kind of tribute or anything to the events going on in Paris but we did notice the music a lot more than on previous visits. And it seemed a lot more people were spending time in this area of the park than usual.
Our thoughts are with all those impacted by the senseless violence.
Moving on to Wizarding World, not really a whole lot of change from last week as at this point most of the changes are going on inside and to show elements outside.
Speaking of show elements, some of the window animation is working now and they are testing pretty much everything that needs to be tested.
They've also been lighting Hogwarts at night. We'll be sure to get some pics of it when we go for Grinchmas in a few weeks.
Flight of the Hippogriff was testing. We saw about 4 or 5 trains go in the few minutes we were getting pics.
The greenhouse appears to be done, or very close to being done.
The Ford Anglia is back and outside the Wizarding World store.
A view from CityWalk
Now that Halloween Horror Nights is over, Christmas has definitely come to Universal Studios Hollywood
The Grinchmas Tree is being constructed
Last week this was all ExterminatorZ and now it's Candy CaneZ ... ;)
On the studio tour they are getting ready for the Whovilation show
It's always so interesting to see the contrast between Whoville and Bates Motel
Even CityWalk is getting ready for the holidays
There are still a LOT of construction projects going on both inside and outside the parks.
The retail dining location is starting to get a LOT more detail.
All of the work going on is creating some VERY narrow walkways
Some nice details seen through the scrim
The Special Effects Stage is closed as they prepare for a new show in the theater next year
Outside the park, the re-design of the front entry of the park is underway. Everything on the right side of the entry is closed, making for a VERY narrow walkway between CityWalk and the park.
Walls, Walls, Walls ... everywhere walls.
Even walls around Saddle Ranch, which is still open BTW.
As you can see, it gets quite crowded in a narrow walkway.
Back inside the park, a few remnants of Halloween Horror Nights remains, mostly on the Studio Tour.
They were filming on the backlot with a huge US Airways plane set, which led us to the conclusion that it's for the Sully Sullenberger movie starring Tom Hanks. No, we didn't see Tom on set. =(
And lastly, Jaws recently came back from a refurb and it looks great!!
Thanks for reading, we weren't expecting the update to be too big this week but there turned out to be more going on at the park than we figured.
Our next update for USH will likely be for the opening of Grinchmas as we've got Holiday events starting up this weekend with Chill at Queen Mary and Knott's Merry Farm this weekend.
And don't forget, we'll be at IAAPA all week, so be sure you are following us on all of our social media to get up to the minute updates. Team Park Journey will be working hard to bring you all the latest cool stuff from this years event.
Now that the last night of Halloween Events for 2015 is over it's time to start turning our attention back on the attractions coming for 2016, and that of course means Wizarding World.
It's been almost 2 months since our last full update for Hogsmeade, Hogwarts and all things Potter, so let's get right to it today.
Written by Gregg Condon
We'll start off where we've been starting off for awhile and that's with the entry to Wizarding World, which looks a bit different than it did just a couple of months ago.
As you can see in the background, Hogwarts has had a LOT of detail added to it.
Moving back a bit you can start to see much more detail on the buildings of Hogsmeade. The clock in the middle and of course the Hogwarts Express on the far right.
Moving around near the Studio Tour
Apologies for the sun glare in some of these pictures, it was very bright
The amount of detail there is amazing
They're still working on the Greenhouse
A look at Flight of the Hippogriff which has been testing
Moving around to the other side, the trees that will be between Wizarding World and Shrek are filling in nicely
I want to go now!!!
Hippogriff. Looking forward to this since it will be different than the others.
We obviously have no idea when Wizarding World is going to open but they are working feverishly to get it done.
But Wizarding World isn't the only thing going on at the park ...
New banner up in Springfield ...
The other side ...
This has been there for awhile, but again it's been awhile since our last update. =)
On the lower lot, work is being done on what was the Universal Experience. I want to say they announced that this was going to be a food location now but it's early, it's Monday and Coffee hasn't kicked in yet. =)
Back up top, considering Halloween Horror Nights ended about 7 hours prior to the park opening on Sunday there are still a lot of props up, but they did put up a few walls already.
They finally caught Michael Myers ...
The new Retail/Dining megaplex is coming along nicely. No idea when it will be finished but it will be nice when it is.
Grinchmas Stuff has started showing up in the stores ... #TooSoon =)
And Minion stuff too ...
Real quick, a couple of CityWalk notes ... they are getting ready for Santa's Arrival
Smashburger is now open
Jody Maroni's (that I think we ate at once in 20 years of going to CityWalk) is closing and will be replaced by Ludo Bird (good call). Just hope the prices are more reasonable than the Ludo Bird at Staples Center.
The new (much needed) parking structure is looking close to being done. Let's hope they have more booths open when it opens too because the lines to get in when I left at about 10:30 were crazy.
And lastly we'll leave you with a picture of a couple of the great characters at Universal Studios Hollywood. They really are the heartbeat of the park. I could listen to these two argue all day. =)
Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed the update.
We are fast approaching the time where there won't be much to update on as far as Wizarding World is concerned but we should be able to get another update together in the next few weeks.
We also have no idea when the parks Season Pass prices will be announced and what their grand scheme is going to be, we've only heard rumors at this point.
So stay tuned.
And as always, as soon as opening dates, pass prices or anything is announced we will be bringing it to you.
Have a great week!!!