Universal Studios Hollywood Getting Grinchy

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in In the Parks, Universal Hollywood

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Published on November 14, 2012 at 5:01 am with 7 Comments

Universal Studios Hollywood has finally shed the horror filled persona it is known for during Halloween and is slowly reemerging as a festive holiday wonderland. Yes, it’s nearly Grinchmas time for all good Who girls and boys.  But there’s more. We’ll also show you some changes to the House of Horrors, and share information about the Jurassic Park refurbishment. And no trip to Universal Studios Hollywood would be complete without a spin through the world famous Studio Tour.

GRINCHMAS

Yes everyone’s favorite holiday monster, The Grinch, is moving in.  This means that a large portion of the upper lot is behind walls and being converted for the Grinchmas holiday event.


Christmas lights are currently being installed on the entryway

Just inside the park, the Grinchmas store is being set up.

In the center of the park, the wild west area is transforming into Whoville once again.


The frame work for the Whoville tree is staged and ready to be built.


The double decker bus has been adorned with garland.

Over in the Paris section of the upper lot, Mr. Bean’s car sits with a tree on its roof.

There are also other bits of set dressing.

The Starway leading to the lower lot is also decorated.

The dining area near Curious George is also being dressed.

Not to be upstaged, the Studio tour complex gets all spruced up for the season as well.

The escalators leading to the Studio tour

 

JURASSIC PARK

The Jurassic Park River Adventure ride is currently down for the usual winter refurbishment.  All water is drained and the ride is getting worked on from top to bottom.  An employee mentioned that they are doing extensive work on some of the animatronics, which we are very glad to hear.

Don’t worry, the play area is still open.

Exterior lighting fixtures being replaced.

 

HOUSE OF HORRORS

During Halloween Horror Nights, the House of Horrors was reinvented as Monsters Remixed.  This reinvention was preceded by a month-long closure and refurbishment.  Halloween Horror Nights came and went and the attraction reopened for normal operation.  But, we see now, that House of Horrors benefited a great deal from the refurb.

Some figures that were installed for Halloween Horror Nights remain.

A creepy mother figure sits just before the Bates mirror maze.

The white lights in the Bates mirror maze are now red.

A change to purple light on the shower curtain.

The new werewolf figure.

A new hunter figure in the werewolf scene.

Then a final werewolf figure after the tunnel.

We are very happy to see that Universal continues to invest in this little piece of year-round scares.  Keep it up!

STUDIO TOUR
There are a few changes at the Studio Tour dispatch station as well as along the tour route.

There is work occurring near the tour guide station.

A house facade is being constructed near Little Europe

Nothing new here, we just like Jaws.

The chicken ranch house is receiving a bit of refurb work now that the Munsters Facade has been removed from the other side.

The ill-fated Munsters pilot, 1313 Mockingbird Lane, didn’t take off. The facade for the show has been removed.

TRANSFORMERS

A few months ago we reported that inside the Transformers queue, guests had found an interested way of decorating sections of the queue with pennies.

Photo from June 2012

Plexiglass panels have been posted to prevent perplexing the penny popping problem.

That’s what we have for you this week from Universal Studios Hollywood, the entertainment capital of Los Angeles.  Be sure to check back soon for information on the upcoming Grinchmas celebrations.  We hope to see you soon, in the parks!

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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  • jcruise86

    Thanks, Norman!

    There is a lot to love about Universal Hollywood. If they have the courage to surpass Orlando’s WWoHP, it will become one of “the big three” in S. Cal. along with Disneyland and DCA.

    They also need to take better advantage of their spectacular views of the SF Valley with some patios alongside (improved!) restaurants & bars. Disneyland gets this right at (the south side of) Flo’s V8, the River Belle, the lower level of Hungry Bear, and if you face a picture window, Pizza Port.

    There is currently a great annual pass deal at Costco. (I think it’s a full year for $69.) One way to make a day at Universal fuller, is to see a movie in Universal City Walk. Movie or no movie, I recommend leaving the park for lunch at Karl Strauss in City Walk. It’s a short, interesting walk.

    • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

      Great tip about the Costco passes to Uni. I’m going to take advantage of that this week!

      Completely agree that they don’t take advantage of the views. You really only see the beautiful view on the Starway down to the Lower Lot. With Terminator soon to be removed, I’d love to see them build a bar and restaurant right where the Coke Soak Zone is now. And like you suggest, it should have windows which offer a panoramic view if the Valley.

      Great update Fishy!

      • Ryan120420

        Word is that the Coke Soak Zone will be removed to make way for a new water/dry kids play area themed to the Minions from Despicable Me.

        Also 2013 will most likely be the last summer for Curious George play area, as that area will be removed to make way for the entrance to the Wizarding World.

  • s8ntmark

    Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve ALREADY seen the last Summer for Curious George, isn’t demolition for Potter supposed to start in April/May? That’s the rumor anyway…

  • Damien Nguyen-Tran

    I’m going next month.GOOOOOOOOOO! Grinchmas

  • jasmineray

    I love me some Grinchmas! Can’t wait for it!

  • darkamor

    so glad that Universal Studios Hollywood is getting needed TLC (Jurassic Park’s definitely needs it) & I truly hope the improvements from Orlando (ie Despicable Me Ride, Harry Potter’s Wizarding World / Hogworts) make their way over time (I predict it’s going to be a good 3 years before we see everything completed & ready for our enjoyment) ….

    Last year’s Grinchmas started with a Pet Adoption Drive in front of the Entrance to the Theme Park & I hope this continues for 2012 …..

    awesome photos from Fishbulb –

    C J