Hello readers! It’s time to jump back into Universal Studios Hollywood with a mini update that follows the ongoing changes to the park and nearby CityWalk. With The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, and the collection of recent additions including Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Super Silly Funland, Springfield USA, and Transformers, not to mention Fast and Furious Supercharged on the Tram Tour, you would think the place would be bustling. It is for the most part. However, very recent changes to the Annual Pass program indicate that there my be just a little more room for improvement and adjustment.
In CityWalk we see that three major projects are still underway with one yet to begin.
The casual concept eatery, Dongpo Kitchen the brainchild of chef Meizhou Dongpo, is inching ever-closer to completion. Now with a mid-August target date, the eatery promises to add the the eclectic flavors of the busy CityWalk.
Meanwhile the nearly top-to-bottom renovation of the Universal CityWalk Cinemas is going full bore. The atrium that once acted as the entrance into the movie palace has now been stripped down to the supports, as they prepare to enclose the area with a glitzy new look.
To celebrate the arrival of Suicide Squad this photo op has been set up.
On its way to opening, Voodoo Donuts sits waiting to swing open the doors. The Oregonian import is highly anticipated and has a huge reputation for artisanal donut flavors like Captain my Captain doughnut, Grape Ape doughnut, Chuckles doughnut, and the Bacon Maple Bar doughnut, you can be sure this will be popular.
Inside the park we see that, an hour after opening, the park is busy but manageable. The ticket booths are flooded with lines, yet still too few people are taking advantage of the self serve kiosks that have been installed.
The wait time for Forbidden Journey shoots to two hours almost immediately.
My advice is to hit The Walking Dead attraction the moment you get into the park (before it develops a line), then head to the Lower Lot for Transformers, Mummy and Jurassic Park. Have lunch in Wizarding World and enjoy the Upper Lot attractions in the afternoon. The lines for the Forbidden Journey generally come down as the day progresses.
Below, in the Backlot, we find construction on an unannounced new attraction next to Transformers.
Behind the Transformers Show building there has been little change since last week.
What is now being called Soundstage 29 on the studio tour is coming along.
Meanwhile, at Falls Lake, construction for the boat set (on an undisclosed film project) continues. This thing is huge.
Annual Pass Changes
When Universal Studios Hollywood announced their brand new pricing tiers for the annual passes, just prior to the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, many balked at the price increase. At $599, the top tier price featured no blackout dates, and was the only pass to include parking.
Universal Studios Hollywood just announced some key changes to its Annual pass program that indicate they may have pushed things a little too far with the aggressive pricing. Now the second tier pass (Gold Pass) has added the OPTION to add parking before 5:00 PM.
Universal has also added one time use per day Front of the Line access to the rides and attractions for those who purchase the $599 Platinum pass.
Does an annual pass with no blackout days, free parking and front of line passes sound good to you at $599?
That’s a wrap on this Universal Studios Hollywood update. We will see you next time, In The Parks.