Universal Studios Hollywood Stays Cool In The Heat

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Features, Universal Hollywood, Universal Studios, Universal Studios Hollywood CityWalk

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Published on July 01, 2016 at 2:00 am with No Comments

We have an easy breezy update from Universal Studios Hollywood for you this week. After the official Press sneak peak of the brand new Walking Dead walk-through attraction, it closed again to allow Universal to make a few more adjustments before officially unveiling it to the general public on Monday, July 4th. In the meantime there is plenty to read about here as CityWalk constructs two brand new restaurants and the Universal Cinemas undergo renovation. We stroll through the new entry of the park and take in a few more details too. Next we check in on the new Kubo character meet and greet and finally get to go inside the Studio Cafe on the lower lot. spoiler alert, it’s nice.

CityWalk

The reworked fountains at CityWalk are getting a lot of use from guests as temperatures flirt with triple digits.

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Meanwhile, construction continues on the two major restaurant additions to CityWalk. First we see the progress on Dongpo Kitchen.

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Artist rendering for this new location at Universal Studios Hollywood CityWalk

Also under construction is Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, which is taking over the old bowling alley spot.

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Artist rendering of how Margaritaville will look when finished

And here is a look at the renovations of the movie theater, which remains open during construction.

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Artist rendering of finished project © Universal Studios Hollywood

Artist rendering of finished project © Universal Studios Hollywood

 

Artist rendering of finished project © Universal Studios Hollywood

Take a gander at this artist rendering of the completed Universal Studios Hollywood CityWalk Cinemas. Swanky.

Universal Studios

Now for a trip inside the park. Filming begins even BEFORE you enter the gate, as the TV show Extra shoots here every weekday.

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Well hello there.

 

Into the park

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The entry corridor was looking great when we passed through. Fresh flowering baskets have been affixed to every palm tree.

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Coffee? Air Conditioning? Yes Please. The new Starbucks inside the park is sweet relief on a hot day.

 

The Walking Dead

As we had mentioned yesterday, The Walking Dead held a private press preview on Tuesday before closing again to make final adjustments to the new walk-through. You can read our thoughts in the link above . . . but, in short, we loved it. Yes, it’s scary, just like the show, but wow, what fun.

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Note the expectation setting under the sign . . . “A walk through attraction.” If you choose to wait in a long line, they want you to know right up front that this is not a ride.

 

More Coolness

We love it that they let guests jump into the water and go nuts in this water playground.

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Of course, for the less adventurous, there are cooling fans all over the park. While not totally themed here, we have to hand it to Universal for being so cognizant of guest comfort in extreme weather. They do a similar thing in the cooler months, when they offer free coffee and hot cocoa and warm places to hang out.

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KUBO Meet and Greet

A new movie called Kubo and the Two Strings is coming out August 19th and Universal has already set up a meet and greet for guests to become familiar with the characters.

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Here’s a trailer from the upcoming film from the folks who brought you the beautiful Coraline.

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Studio Cafe

We were finally in the Lower Lot when the Studio Cafe was opened. I’ve been wanting to check it out for the longest time. It is essentially the same idea as what they built in the Palace Thearer Cafe on the Upper Lot with flexible, quick serve food, sandwiches and salads. The place feels a bit more like a neighborhood market than restaurant. It’s an interesting vibe and a quick concept.

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There’s a bit of Transformers thrown in.

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Great decco details.

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Coke Freestyle machines.

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Backlot Construction

Last week Universal announced a plan to expand facilities and soundstages. According to Variety, this block will be a childcare center.

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If it looks like this building is going up quick. It’s because those walls were literally tilted up this week. Fast!

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Over at Stage 28, we know that this will be for theme park use and are hearing rumors that it will be a brand new attraction based upon a movie which has yet to be released.  Again, Universal moves quickly these days.

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Studio Tour

We hop aboard the Studio Tour and take a wistful look at the endangered Ten Commandments Lagoon. If Los Angeles gets the Olympics in 2024, this area will become a set of soundstages.

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Over in Falls Lake we see that a boat set is still under construction.

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Glamour Shots
Now we share with you some pretty, but not-so-newsworthy images from around the park.

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Minions. Making bananas cool again.

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A live pianist on Baker Street.

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Lucy, did you have your Vitameatavegamin?

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Murder She Wrote meets JAWS.

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“Hey chum, see anything on the tour?”

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Plans may be shifting for the Diagon Alley expansion of Wizarding World. Rather than a full scale version on the lower lot, it’s possible that it might get shoehorned into the spot between the current Hogsmead and CityWalk where Waterworld is now. We are holding out hope that they’ll go bigger and more ambitious than that.

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It’s snowy in Hogsmead even in the warmest weather.

That wraps things up from this update from Universal Studios Hollywood in the heat. But never fear, temps are set to drop down to more comfortable conditions this weekend. Be sure to return next week as we continue covering the entertainment capital of Los Angeles.

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, has produced and edited many of the articles on MiceChat over the years.

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