Springfield at Universal Studios Hollywood had some soft openings beginning last Friday with one side of the new area being open and the Duff Brewery Side coming out from behind walls just in time for Spring Break Crowds in the park.
Even though it was the first day of the area being open for guests (it had opened on Wednesday for park employees) it seemed like they had everything down to a science as far as serving, seating and keeping lines shorts is concerned.
We have no idea when Springfield "officially" opens, but I'd guess as of now it's pretty much open for good. We haven't heard anything about it closing after Spring Break or anything. But we'll let you know if it does.
Moving on, the new extended queue for Shrek 4-D is open and it looks awesome.
I love the Shrek characters, so if this attraction is going to stay around, maybe they should try and get a new Shrek movie in here at some point?
Moving on to Potter, more scaffolding has come down revealing much more of Hogsmeade.
Lastly, as of last Thursday, Universal AP prices have gone up and the "Premium" option has been replaced by the "No Black-Out Season Pass". This means that there are currently no AP options at the park that offer parking. If you have the premium pass you can still obviously use the parking until your pass expires.
We get that the expansion the park is receiving is absolutely unprecidented. It's unbelievable, and it's amazing. But you are pretty much alienating your most loyal guests here. Hopefully they'll reverse this trend that seems to be the norm at many parks of giving AP's the shaft. Having an AP doesn't (and shouldn't) give us any extra benefit, we just like to go and enjoy the park. I don't think that's too much to ask.
Also, you'll notice they are no longer "Annual" passes, but "Season" passes, and employees have been instructed to use this new term. Even year long passes purchased at Costco have an expiration date of March 18, 2016.
Now this doesn't mean that Potter is opening on March 19, 2016 or even that there will be no AP's next year. Remember when DCA tried to cut out AP's when they first opened? Granted, DCA had no Potter, but it didn't work out. We fully expect AP prices to go up next year it will just be interesting to see the true impact Potter has.
For those of you visiting the park, we suggest taking the Metro Red Line and then the shuttle up to the park. Of course, finding parking at the metro lots is another article in itself.
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for this update. Spring Break has descended on the park and it will be a very busy week at all parks, not just Universal. So bring your patience with you if you'll be heading to a park the next few weeks.