Welcome back to Universal Studios Hollywood and the impending arrival of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  The opening date for this new land has been announced and signs of life are already apparent.  You should get your annual passes now because you are really going to want to hang out in this park.  A soft opening might happen sooner rather than later.  We also share the progress of the new entry plaza facades and shops.  Next we look at the upkeep on the Studio tour and the Jurassic Park ride on the lower lot.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Officially set to open on April; 7th, 2016, the Wizarding world of Harry Potter is ready for technical rehearsals any time now.

Several sources have told us that they’ve visited the Hogsmead village area and it looks wonderful. However, it is more compact than its Florida counterpart. Still, the scale seems to work quite well and the experience is completely immersive and magical.

Looking at the main arches into Hogsmeade, you can see the Hogwarts Express just to the right, billowing steam from its smoke stack.

IMG_1280

IMG_1281

IMG_1282

IMG_1354

IMG_1302

IMG_1306

IMG_1307

IMG_1311

IMG_1312

IMG_1313

IMG_1347

IMG_1348

IMG_1350

IMG_1352

IMG_1353

Entry Plaza

The new entry plaza is really coming along nicely.  As the first impression guests will have of the new Universal Studios Hollywood and it will offer a visually impressive new first act to the park.

IMG_1250

IMG_1251

IMG_1252

IMG_1253
However, while construction in the entry is completed, the clearances between construction walls are pretty tight.

IMG_1254

IMG_1255

IMG_1256

IMG_1257
The new buildings have a classic Hollywood Deco look.

IMG_1259

IMG_1260

IMG_1261

IMG_1262

IMG_1263

IMG_1264

IMG_1265

IMG_1266

 

Studio Tour

Along the Studio Tour we see that a few spots that are getting some major work. In the backlot, a former carpentry shop is now getting a full rebuild.  Little Europe is also enjoying a long refurbishment as the sets are rejuvenated for future production.

IMG_1317

IMG_1318

IMG_1320

IMG_1322

IMG_1323

IMG_1324

IMG_1326

IMG_1328

IMG_1329

IMG_1330

Studios are dynamic places. A set can be dressed and redressed as necessary to meet the needs of filming. Facades can be changed very rapidly, reskinned, painted, or decorated in an infinite number of ways. It’s one reason why I love the Studio Tour and am always on the lookout for what’s new!

IMG_1331

IMG_1332

 

Jurassic Park

The Jurassic Park attraction is taking advantage of the cooler weather to conduct a refurbishment.  Thankfully, Uni thought to place a sign at the entrance to the Starway leading down to the ride. No reason to head all the way down the hill if this was your destination.

IMG_1285

IMG_1301

IMG_1287

IMG_1288

IMG_1289

IMG_1292

IMG_1294

Lower Lot

The work on the construction on the lower lot has now been covered with tarps to protect from the upcoming rainy weather.

IMG_1296

IMG_1297

IMG_1298

City Walk

We close out the update with a look at the work on the Universal Store in CityWalk, just outside the entrance.

IMG_1357
IMG_1248

This concludes our Universal Studios Hollywood update for this week. Are you ready for Potter? Saving up your Butter Beer money?

We’ll see you in the movies!