Yesterday, in a series of anticipated announcements, Universal Studios Hollywood confirmed an impressive series of additions to their original park in Los Angeles, California. Starting with Transformers: The Ride in 2012 the creative forces at Universal have been redoubling their efforts to establish themselves as a world-class destination and theme park.
While things were relatively quiet in 2013, aside from the addition of the Universal Plaza, they have kicked off 2014 in a big way with Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Super Silly Fun Land. This represented Universal Hollywood’s first foray into creating new, fully immersive environments without the idea that you are visiting a working movie studio. See our full review and report of the attraction here.
But don’t bother trying to be the first in line for the Despicable Me. James Franco is already in line.
Fast & Furious—Supercharged
Next year, however, they are returning the focus to the world famous Studio Tour. Building on the monstrous success of King Kong 360 3D, 2015 will see the addition of Fast & Furious-Supercharged in the former location of the Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (originally the Avalanche Tunnel). Based on the auto-centric, seemingly never-ending film series, Fast & Furious-Supercharged promises to thrust visitors into the high-stakes underground world of fast cars where they’ll join the cast in a harrowing escapade.
Near the conclusion of the Studio Tour, the tram will pull into a large building housing the world’s longest and most expansive 360-degree screen spanning nearly 400 feet in length, encircling the tram. Sitting atop a dynamic hydraulic-motion based platform the new attraction will tell an original Fast & Furious story, incorporating hyper-realistic special effects and state-of-the-art 3D-HD. The tour will soon have a grand finale along with giving us a reason to hang on to those 3D glasses through the end tour.
Construction is already underway.
While the Studio Tour gets a new attraction, another piece of the upper lot will soon become a bit more, how should we say, yellow. Springfield, an immersive land, will open in the sprawling area in front of The Simpsons Ride (Formerly Back to the Future).
“Springfield” is being designed to make guests feel as if they are being propelled through their television sets into the accurately depicted city, complete with signature eateries from Krusty Burger to Luigi’s Pizza and Phineas Q. Butterfat’s 5600 Flavors Ice Cream Parlor to iconic watering holes like Moe’s Tavern and Duff’s Brewery.
Previous structures, such as Doc Brown’s Chicken, have been removed and the cartoon town of Springfield is already going vertical.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
How long will you have to wait for a butter beer?
Universal long ago announced the coming of Wizarding World of Harry Potter; however, the timeline was sketchy. 2016 will be a magical year for Universal Studios Hollywood as the theme park’s epic transformation becomes fully realized with the highly-anticipated arrival of Harry Potter!
Inspired by the magical world created by J.K. Rowling and brought to life in the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood will be a fully immersive land designed for the entire family that brings the Harry Potter fiction and films to life. The Hollywood experience is aiming to be faithful to the visual landscape that fans are familiar with, including Hogwarts castle that will serve as the iconic focal point of the environment.
“This is a pivotal time in the history of Universal Studios Hollywood as we build upon our extraordinary success and expand our vision for the future of our world-class destination,” said Larry Kurzweil, President of Universal Studios Hollywood. “This broad investment in our five-year transformation will further strengthen Universal Studios Hollywood as an economic leader, significantly contributing to long-term employment opportunities and tourism throughout L.A.”
Universal Studios Hollywood expansion plans are aggressive and will certainly help them devour a larger slice of the Southern California tourism pie. Keep your eyes right here on MiceChat as we’ll be expanding our Universal coverage to bring you regular construction updates on this impressive series of headlining projects.