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.
Sorry Disney, but your princess is in another castle ...
As if yesterdays Reign of Kong announcement wasn't enough, today Universal announced a new partnership with Nintendo for it's theme parks in Orlando and elsewhere.
Written by Gregg Condon (Images © Nintendo and Universal Parks and Resorts)
Here is a link to the official announcement and some highlights below.
I’m thrilled to share that Nintendo and Universal Parks & Resorts today announced plans to bring the world of Nintendo to life at Universal theme parks.
Together, these two storytelling giants will create spectacular, dedicated experiences based on Nintendo’s wildly popular games, characters and worlds.
The agreement brings two icons of entertainment together and represents a significant partnership for Nintendo as it expands the reach and popularity of its characters and intellectual property.
The immersive experiences will include major attractions at Universal’s theme parks and will feature Nintendo’s most famous characters and games.
More details will be announced in the future, as the Nintendo and Universal creative teams work to create specific concepts.
So what does this all mean? Honestly, as you can see from above, not much was revealed, it's possible this deal is very recent and obviously any specific attraction announcements won't be coming for awhile. And why should they? Universal has enough in the pipeline right now as it is.
But of course, that's not going to stop us all from speculating.
The possibilities for this are endless, the vast amount of Nintendo characters from Mario, Princess Peach, Donkey Kong, Star Fox, Zelda and more are amazing.
But even more than that, individual game franchises like Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers and more are ripe for doing what Universal does best, a perfect blend of the real and imagined.
Can you imagine a ride like Transformers themed to Zelda as you ride through Hyrule going to rescue the Princess? Hopping through pipes and jumping over Goomba's with Mario ... in 3D? Racing as your favorite character in a Mario Kart Race through a Universal themed track?
The possibilities are endless.
And that's not even considering getting your picture taken with your favorite Nintendo characters. I'm not big on character stuff, but I would be for Nintendo.
Our house is filled with two generations of Nintendo fans, and I know we're not the only ones. We have every single Nintendo console ever made, and yes, they all still work.
This merging of Nintendo and Universal is an absolute no-brainer, one only has to wonder why it took so long.
So what Nintendo characters/franchises would you like to see? Take a look at our polls below and let us know in the comments. Once we get some poll results, we'll post the #1 character and franchise and see if we can't come up with something fun. =)