We headed up to Universal Studios Hollywood this week to bring you an extensive update on the plethora of projects currently going on in the park.
In addition, the new Starbucks has opened on the lower lot , the new pedestrian bridge is getting started and work is continuing on the new hotel that is replacing Fung Lum.
The pace of the construction for Hogsmeade and Springfield continues to amaze us every time we head into the park. Just since our last mini-update this area looks a lot different.
As a result of all of the construction, the Shrek 4-D queue has been consolidated a bit.
As the area takes shape, the Flintstones Bar-B-Q continues to look more out of place. But the park needs the food location for now.
With how close Springfield and Hogsmeade are to each other it's going to be interesting to see how they deal with the separation of them both.
Can it just be open already?
The building for Forbidden Journey and Hogwarts is starting to get closed off which should start freeing them up to work on more of the Hogsmeade buildings.
Walls are starting to go up on the huge frame.
As you can see to the right of the building, they still have a LOT of room to play with
A close up of the building. I don't really see anything other than steel, but if anybody notices anything of significance starting to take shape, by all means share it in the comments.
Halloween Horror Nights
Some Horror Nights construction is already going on, hard to believe in just about 2 1/2 months it's going to be time to get scared!!
Down on the lower lot near Jurassic Park. Still can't tell what the maze theme is going to be.
The facade is obviously a house, but that doesn't really tell us much since pretty much every maze in this spot has had a similar facade.
Stage 747 continues to get worked on, but I doubt it's a Boxtrolls maze.
Heading over to the Terror Tram, not sure if this is a prop or it's just full of props.
The terror tram path
Looks like they were doing some brush clearing
Hopefully we'll get some HHN news very soon.
New York Street (Upper Lot)
New York Street on the Upper Lot recently got some work done on the outside facades and it looks nice.
Little things like this go a long way from looking at Universal Studios as a "Studios" park with some themed elements and looking at it as a "theme park'.
Around The Park
There are a lot of "little things" going on around the park including an all-new Starbucks on the lower lot.
This new Wait Times board was new to me, staffed by a couple of the great Universal Employees like Billy.
Down on the lower lot, the new Starbucks is open
While I'm personally happy to have a Starbucks inside the park, sadly once you enter the store it's basically just a "Starbucks". There is no Universal themeing inside. Not even any movie posters promoting upcoming releases.
The inside is also pretty small, but employees were doing a great job of keeping up as there was a bit of a line. Hopefully they'll add some kind of themeing down the line.
Also, the Starbucks App/Starbucks card isn't accepted although you do get your AP discount. Drink and Food prices are in-line with a standard Starbucks. With the AP discount it's a bit less than your local Starbucks.
Heading outside the park for a minute, the pedestrian bridge from the Metro Red Line station has started construction.
Just from this one picture you can see that this bridge is needed and LONG overdue.
As somebody who likes to take the Red Line I'm excited about this. Of course, this is assuming you can actually find parking at the red-line lots to be able to take the train.
Hopefully a more permanent solution for getting people up and down the hill is coming. Currently there is a tram that runs about every 5-10 minutes. Or you can walk up the hill as I did. It's a nice little work out.
Of course, since it was about 90 degrees I headed straight for Jurassic Park (still my favorite ride in the park).
With the Single-Rider line, it was about 30 seconds.
The summer splash fountains are on, so you get pretty soaked.
A couple of quick tram notes, first, as always, lets check the production schedule.
My favorite summer show AGT is being heavily promoted. But enough with the re-runs already.
I found this kind of interesting ... this is the name of Meg Ryan's character in "You've Got Mail" (Don't ask how I knew that) and they just announced that her and Tom Hanks were going to be doing another movie together. Probably just a coincidence, but who knows.
While not really paying attention to the Flash Flood I noticed this on the other side.
I hadn't ridden on this side of the tram since Jaws reopened, so here is a shark picture.
Noticed a LOT of tree trimming going on between Wisteria Lane and the Grinch sets. Hmmm.
While on the subject of Wisteria Lane ... I think it's really time to ditch the Desperate Housewives spiel. The show's been off the air for 2 years now.
Speaking of things that need to be re-done ... War of the Worlds is almost 10 years old. So old that there are actually cassette tapes in the crash scene. Kids, if you don't know what these are, ask your parents. =)
Just a couple of Fast and Furious pics for today. I didn't make it over to get overhead shots while we were there. We'll make sure we do that next time.
Lastly, work is continuing on the new hotel where Fung Lum used to be. Not much to see yet.
That's going to wrap it up for this look at Universal Studios Hollywood. It may be awhile until our next update as we are actually blocked-out for the rest of July (starting on July 11th). Make sure you check your AP's for block out days before heading to the park. We had originally planned on going on the 11th (oops).