Universal Studios Hollywood has been going through quite the metamorphosis.  Since the announcement of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter way back in 2012, the park has been building up to its opening with a growing ensemble of attractions.  Things started big with the arrival of Transformers The Ride 3D in 2012, followed by Despicable Me Minion Mayhem in 2014, then the one-two punch of Springfield USA and Fast and Furious Supercharged in 2015.  Now, we await the arrival of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and its many magical details and delights.  The veil is about to be pulled back, the show is about to start, and we, folks, will finally get to have genuine butter beer. (Go team Frozen)

As we prepare for this major milestone we tour the park and check out the progress on all of the other, minor projects throughout the park in preparation for the big day.

Parking Structure

The new E.T. Parking structure is now open and accepting driving cars entering from Universal Studios Boulevard.  Sparkling white and nearly untouched, the parking structure is built with a first level tall enough to accommodate charter busses and tours.  The structure also serves as the new entrance to the Curious George structure by way of a bridge connector on each level.

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While cars have a bridge on each level to cross over to the Curious George structure, pedestrians parking in E.T. have to make their way down to level one and then cross via a cool bridge of their own. and into a nice E.T. themed tunnel.

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Pedestrians come out right next to the Vallet and Bucca Di Beppo

Park Entrance

The entrance to the park is getting final touches as well with the looming of Potter.  The shops of CityWalk near the entrance to the park are also getting attention.

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Inside the park, the entry plaza and corridor are in the final stages of construction.  Palm trees have been planted all along the entry way leading to the Universal Plaza.

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The light fixtures at the base of the palm trees haven’t even been fully installed yet.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

As the official opening date for WIzarding World gets closer and closer, we see even more details literally emanating from this soon-to-be mega destination. April 7th just can’t come soon enough can it folks?

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Here we also see what appears to be the return-time kiosks for entry into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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Special Effects Show update

This is certainly not breaking news but we finally got the chance to see the updated Special Effects show.  Yes, it’s a show. Yes, there are effects.  In fact there are nearly the same exact elements as before, just with less dazzle-dazzle.

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One big change, of course is the odd inclusion of stunts as effects.  This includes fire effects in what is, in all fairness, a rather impressive demonstration.  But it does create a strange confusion between special effects and stunts or physical shots. But, hey, they set someone on fire. So that’s cool . . . right?!

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Studio Tour

Out on the Studio Tour we see the Little Europe is nearly finished with its refurbishment, while the project near the backlot continues.

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Lower Lot
There are a few projects happening down on the lower lot.  The major project is the refurbishment of Jurassic Park.  Coming down the Star way,

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Work continues on the project near Panda Express and Transformers…

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And, finally, some work is happening behind the Revenge of the Mummy coaster.

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That wraps up our little Universal Studios Hollywood Update for today.  Check back tomorrow to see the coverage of the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities that are being held in the park.



See you In The Parks.