We have big news and photo update for you from Universal Studios Hollywood.  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter finally has a place to call home, but the Gibson Amphitheater and Curious George will be sent packing to make it happen. In other news, the Despicable Me attraction is under rapid construction, as is the new multi-purpose plaza at the heart of the park. Let’s get this tram on the move . . .

WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER:

By now, you likely know that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be constructed at Universal Studios Hollywood.  But the question everyone was asking is, “Where the heck are they going to put it?”  MiceChat was the first to break the news that the Gibson Amphitheater and the Curious George water play area will be going away, to make room for the new additions to the park.  No word yet on the fate of Shrek or Waterworld.  If they aren’t going right away, the would be very easy expansion plots. The park has been wanting to get rid of Waterworld for nearly a decade.

CityWalk:

With more and more guests flocking to Universal City, parking has been at a premium. To help ease the congestion and prepare for future crowds, the Jurassic Parking garage is being expanded into an adjacent flat lot. The new addition to the garage is expected to be completed in the Fall and will add roughly 600 spots.

Upper Lot:

Work continues on the “Universal Plaza” which is promising to have a multi-use stage as well as other “entertainment, dining, water play and more”. While not pretty, sections of New York Street show scars of essential underground utility work. This new area is expected to be completed in time for the Summer season. 

The flex retail location “Feature Presentation” has swapped Minions for Transformers and now is home to a large selection of Despicable Me merchandise to tie in to the new movie that opens this summer and Minion Mayhem attraction opening next year.

These cute sipper cups are a great buy if you are a passholder or are a thirsty person. All USH sippers can be refilled at any time for just $0.99 whenever you visit.

The restrooms behind Doc Brown’s Chicken are being expanded into an adjacent patio area. The current setup is small and often times would create a bottleneck. The new restrooms will be very modern and energy conscience with waterless urinals and paperless hand dryers.

T2:3D/Despicable Me:

The world’s worst kept secret, Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem coming to USH, was finally officially announced. The attraction is set to open sometime in 2014. The USH version of the attraction will be a carbon copy of it’s Orlando counterpart but it’ll be interesting to see how the facade and queue will translate considering the size of the massive T2 complex and adjoining Coke Soak area.

Upon taking a closer look at the work walls, you can find little additions that make them look like they are the real deal. One of the walls near Baker Street is “home” to a fish and chips restaurant.

From a distance it looks like a guest left their uneaten food on the table. Up close you realize it’s a fake meal with all the fixings.

The Fast & the Furious picture zone received a new back drop promoting the new film which is out next month.

Lower Lot:

The NBCUniversal Experience is now home to one of the original traveling DeLoreans featured in the Back to the Future movies. The car was fully restored and is displayed with props and documents from the movies.

A small display case next to the car has some BttF artifacts including concept art, scripts and a letter from John DeLorean, the creator of the DeLorean, to the producers.

Not to be outshined, some new items were also added to the rotating museum collection. New additions are costumes from Les Mis, 30 Rockand various movies as well as the truly creepy Timmy doll/puppet from the daytime show Passions.

So, to sum it all up, things will be crazy the next few years at Universal Hollywood.  They are going to be adding major, new attractions in 2014 and 2015. That means lots of construction walls. But the results should be nothing short of spectacular.