News is beginning to stream, once again, from Universal Studios. They are settling in to one of their most successful Summers ever with the opening of Transformers and are preparing to get spooky for Halloween Horror Nights in September. Here’s the latest news from Uni.

The park is holding up nicely under the increased summer crowds. As guests enter the park, services are very clearly marked.  It’s helpful, but not subtle.

This is cool. Plan Your Day. Clear as day.

Front of line pass? Don’t mind if I do!

There are plenty of photo ops on the upper Lot right now.  You’ll get to jump right into the action.

No one was waiting for the Snow White and the Huntsman photo op during our visit

As we mentioned at the outset, Universal is powering through what is already looking to be an epic Summer for them with Transformers. It is an intricate monster of an attraction that they finally have purring like a panther.

That is not to say there are a few things we noticed in the queue that will end up having to be addressed.

There is already the usual wear and tear in the queue here and there.

In an interesting phenomenon, guests have figured out that the circular pattern on some of the metal grating in the queue is exactly the same size as a penny.

Two Questions; 1) Why do American theme park visitors feel the need to mark the places they visit?

2) How was this not foreseen as a problem if the circles seem patterned exactly after the size of a Penny?

Conclusion: Monkey see, monkey do. If a guest sees chipped paint on a railing, they’ll be more inclined to pick at it as they go by. And if they see a penny on the wall, they’ll leave their penny too. Best for Universal to stay on top of this situation, or their queue is going to look pretty bad by the end of summer. Guests are often disrespectful of their environment, a sad but true fact.

Speaking of the Lower Lot, the newly updated NBC Universal Experience has opened with exhibits from the upcoming August film release, Paranorman. It is a wonderful addition to the exhibit. But if you do not slow down and look everywhere you could miss the awesome set piece around the corner near the back, emergency exit.

Pretty cool models

Awesome, just awesome!

Paranorman is coming to theaters in August of this year. We can’t wait!

While none of the names for any of the mazes have been officially announced yet, speculation is swirling heavily around all sorts of popular horror franchises. Projects are already becoming visible around the upper lot.

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that House of 1,000 Corpses is not coming back this year. The maze currently being built in that same spot has a floor plan that bares no resemblance to the former resident.

Not much to go on yet, but have any of you figured out what the theme could be?

Nothing is happening just yet in the overflow for Shrek 4D.

The other usual location is the former sight of the old west arena.  No word just yet, but the tent is up and the carpet is laid.

You can also keep up with MiceChat’s Universal Studios Hollywood correspondent, F!AN’s, Halloween Horror Night’s  information thread on the MiceChat boards here.

We’ll have more from Universal for you soon. Have you made plans to visit Transformers and the rest of the park this summer? Perhaps we should plan a MiceChat meet.

We have one more installment of In The Parks for you to enjoy on Sunday, so please check back. And don’t miss the current article from Disneyland and your chance to win 4 free tickets to Knott’s Soak City in the links below.