Universal Studios Hollywood is a movie studio, theme park and family attraction in a state of masive transformation. Springfield continues to take shape across the midway from The Simpsons Ride. Meanwhile, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is working some magic to expand the attraction space on the upper lot to nearly twice its current size. Along the Studio Tour they are working on adding a big, grand finale to the world famous attraction with the all new Fast and Furious Supercharged. That’s not to mention all of the announcements recently released regarding the annual Halloween Horror Nights event that runs from mid-September through October. There is quite a bit of ground to cover, including a new Starbucks on the Lower Lot.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Harry Potter Construction
We begin todays Harry Potter construction update with a look at a partial model for the façade of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Situated backstage, this model shows the rock work that will be installed to obscure the show building. It also offers a rough idea of how the Hogwarts School for wizards will be situated in the corner.
Nearby, the wire framing for the rocks begins in sections.
Let’s go inside the park now and see what we can see.
We poke around the major construction near the existing pathways to look further into Hogsmeade. Not too much happening just yet. But one thing is for sure, the look of this park will forever be changed.
Halloween Horror Nights
This week there was another interesting bi-coastal Uni announcement. It seems to be quite the trend for the Halloween Horror Nights brand to have tandem subjects for their mazes/haunted houses.
Face Off: In The Flesh
The most twisted and gruesome character creations featured on Syfy’s hit competition series “Face Off” will be live and “In the Flesh” at both Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood’s “Halloween Horror Nights” events, beginning Friday, September 19. Nightmarish creatures will surround guests on both coasts as the macabre visions of some of the most talented up-and-coming make-up artists’ from the show are brought to life.
Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights will feature an all new street experience with ten different character creations inspired by the acclaimed Syfy series, including a look designed by season 5 “Face Off” winner and Universal Orlando make-up artist, Laura Tyler. The hair-raising, horrifying characters will inhabit five unique and immersive environments within the scare zone, from eerie scarecrows that go to great lengths to protect a spine-chilling farmland to ghoulish brutes that haunt dilapidated castle ruins.
Universal Studios Hollywood’s all-new “Halloween Horror Nights” maze, “Face Off: In the Flesh,” will recreate the morbidly disturbing inventions masterminded by visionary make-up special effects artists over the course of the show’s past six seasons. Twenty-two original “Face Off” designs – from human-insect hybrids to horror villains, ancient mummies and zombies – will cascade throughout the dark corridors of the terrifying new maze bringing to life multiple incarnations of these select characters and adding to the cast of characters designed to scare the life out of every guest. “Face Off: In the Flesh” will also feature new sounds from acclaimed electro house artist “Figure,” who returns to Universal Studios Hollywood’s “Halloween Horror Nights” with a haunting mix of electronica-inspired dance music.
The Walking Dead
After rave reviews from fans on both coasts, Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood are bringing back AMC’s “The Walking Dead” to Halloween Horror Nights for an unprecedented third consecutive year. Horror-hungry fans will experience all-new terrifying mazes inspired by Season 4 of the critically-acclaimed, Emmy Award®-winning television series.
This year’s bone-chilling mazes will place guests at the heart of a harrowing journey to seek sanctuary at Terminus, an elusive destination that promises community for all. Mirroring the terror that befell the residents of the West Georgia Correctional Facility, now overrun by savage walkers, the experience will send guests fleeing from the fallen prison into unknown territory as they once again stage a desperate battle for survival against flesh-eating walkers and ruthless humans.
From Dusk Til Dawn
From cult horror film to breakthrough television series on El Rey Network, “From Dusk Till Dawn” will add a terrifying maze to its credits when filmmaker Robert Rodriguez’s acclaimed supernatural show debuts as a menacing new “Halloween Horror Nights” experience at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, beginning Friday, September 19.
This all-new maze, inspired by the critically acclaimed television series, will thrust guests into the deviant world of “From Dusk Till Dawn,” where they will encounter sordid mythological creatures known as “Culebras,” serpent-like vampires who have tormented the earth for centuries. Residing within the elusive and sinister nightclub, “The Twister,” located just over the Mexican border and above cursed ancient ruins, the “Culebras” prove to be a band of immoral and depraved beasts with a deadly agenda. As guests navigate the maze and venture deep within the bowels of “The Twister,” they will find themselves face to face with a cast of perverse characters, including exotic dancer, Santanico Pandemonium, a mysterious and irresistible “Culebras” femme fatale and Queen Vampire.
Based on the film of the same name, “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” is a supernatural crime saga centered around bank robber, Seth Gecko and his violent, unpredictable brother, Richard “Richie” Gecko, who are wanted by the FBI after a bank heist leaves several people dead. While on the run to Mexico, Seth and Richie encounter former pastor Jacob Fuller and his family, whom they take hostage. Using the family RV to cross the border, chaos ensues when the group detours to a club populated by vampires and are forced to fight until dawn in order to get out alive. The series deepens the tone of the film, From Dusk Till Dawn, upon which it is based, adding new characters and backstories that expand the Mesoamerican mythology behind the creatures inside the club.
Online voters said “Bon appetite” and selected “Mask-a-Raid,” a Scare Zone concept based on a hoard of blood thirsty cannibals masquerading as French aristocrats, in the first-ever Universal Studios Hollywood “Halloween Horror Nights” Choose Your Scare online voting competition. The winning Scare Zone concept will materialize in disturbingly real detail at the terrifyingly popular event in Fall 2014.
“We are always listening closely to what our fans want, but this was the first time ever that we actually went out and put the power completely in their hands to determine part of ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ content,” said John Murdy, Creative Director, Universal Studios Hollywood and Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.” “The avalanche of votes we received confirmed our fans’ desire to be part of the process, and we are happy to give them exactly what they want.”
The new Scare Zone, staged in the theme park’s French Street location, will transport guests to a time when masquerade balls were a staple of the social calendar in pre-Revolutionary War France. However, visitors will soon learn that behind the elaborate, jeweled masks of powdered and perfumed party-goers are members of a blood-thirsty cannibal cult.
Jurassic Park Queue
It is in the Jurassic Park queue that we see one of the new mazes being constructed. Which one is this? Or, is it one yet to be announced.
Mummy Extended Queue
We have construction in the usual spot behind the Mummy coaster. It always amazes us how well they utilize this slender footprint.
In the backlot, we see that a tent has been constructed in the same spot as last year’s Walking Dead maze. Will this become Terminus or be used for something else?
We can also see the beginnings of maze construction and pathway inside Stage 747.
Fast and Furious Supercharged
Enough of the Halloween stuff… for now. We next check on the progress on the grand finale of the Studio Tour, Fast and Furious Supercharged. They are moving relatively fast on this one although it is not set to open until 2015.
Another 2015 addition will come in the form of a food court based on the popular Simpsons TV show. Facing the Simpsons Ride attraction, Springfield will bring to life all of your favorite locations from the quirky animated town in one spot. Moe’s, Krusty Burger, and more will be here to enjoy by this time next year. As you can see, it is all framing right now, but soon enough we’ll start seeing familiar details.
Starbucks™ on the Lower Lot
Life is now complete. We no longer have to go up the Starway and out of the park for a drinkable cup of Starbucks™ Coffee. A new location has opened up near the Revenge of the Mummy Roller coaster on the Lower Lot.
That was a HUGE construction update. But we aren’t done with Universal Studios Hollywood just yet. Tomorrow we will share an update on CityWalk. There’s more to it than you think.