Universal Studios Hollywood Goes To The Monsters

Written by MiceChat Staff. Posted in Features, Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood, In the Parks, Southern California Parks, Universal Hollywood

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Published on July 13, 2012 at 10:33 pm with 17 Comments

Monster crowds, monster Halloween maze construction, and a reboot of television’s Munsters. With the juggernaut of Transformers driving visitors into the park, it is shaping up to be another record breaking year.  Today, we stroll the park and offer some tips for avoiding the crowds (or at least deal with them).  Then, we’ll give you a glimpse into a scary future as preparations are made for the popular Halloween Horror Nights event that runs from late September to the end of October.

UPPER LOT
New info booths at the main entrance that match the entrance arch/turnstiles.

New black uniforms for ticket booth/main gate/gr employees replacing a powder blue polo

 The Frankenstein’s monster character received a new face

The Snow White and the Seven Huntsman photo op has been replaced with something cooler. Meanwhile, more atmosphere entertainment has appeared in the Baker GStreet area of the park and a Paranorman photo-op is set up in anticipation of the movie.

Mist fan. See, told you it was cooler than Snow White and the Seven Huntsman.


New facade on Baker Street

This photo calls for a caption contest. Give it your best shot!


An old British biddy speaks to a piano player from her balcony. Hysterical!

New photo op near prop dept area featuring a car from F&tF and a life size wax figure of Vin Diesel supplied by Madam Tussaud’s

 Doc Brown was seen wandering the park again.

HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS-updated 07/14/12, 2:32pm
Universal Studios has just announced (at San Diego Comic-Con) the first maze for the 2012 Halloween Horror nights event.  Silent Hill: Revelation is will be a new, terrifying descent into the supernatural, ghostly town that visitors will be able to experience this fall.  Based on the upcoming Fall release from Sony Pictures the new maze will feature key scenes from Silent Hill: Revelation 3D and put visitors into the movies like only Universal Halloween Horror Nights Can.

TERMINATOR 2 QUEUE – Maze Unknown , Silent Hill?

No real news has been given about the maze itself or the location.  But our educated guess is that it will be in the Terminator 2 queue.  The space, that has been occupied by the House of 1000 corpses the two previous years is an odd space that Uni always seems to use well.

The current construction in that area is using up even more space than the previous maze did. Decaying plaster and slats may already be an indication of what will be going in this spot.


The Albert Fish reference is a leftover from the Corpses maze and will be painted over

 

MUMMY OVERFLOW QUEUE LOCATION – Maze Unknown
We can also see that construction has begun on the maze area behind the revenge of the Mummy coaster.


Too bad it’s covered. :(

JURASSIC PARK OVERFLOW QUEUE – Maze name: Unknown
No work has begun just yet in the location of last years knock out hit, Welcome 2 My Nightmare maze.

WILD WEST ARENA FLEX SPACE – Maze Unknown
Little progress can be detected at the maze location in the center of the Upper Lot.

If you would like to join us for the MiceChat HHN meet save the date for Saturday Oct 6th.  It promises to be a great time.

UPPER LOT
A Paranorman Photo op has been installed near the Animal Actors Studio show.

Before heading down to the lower lot we scan the wait times at Simpsons.


Hmmm, maybe later.

STARWAY
There are new skins on Starway ODV.

LOWER LOT
Venturing to the Lower Lot we see the place literally crawling with guests.

Fortunately, Universal is wise about crowd control and getting guests attention. They have placed a Lower Lot Greeter at the bottom of the Starway escalators to help direct people and get them out of the way of the rest of the folks headed down.


The wait times are crazy too.


It’s at this point that they try to sell you A-Gate tickets. Again, smart.

Our tip, don’t buy Gate A tickets until after you’ve entered the park and seen the actual wait times.


Not worth it.


Worth it.

New quick service location called Treetop Cafe opened (weekends only so far) on the upper level of the Jurassic Outfitters/Jurassic Cove complex. The menu is various salads and sandwiches, similar to what you’d find at the International Cafe in the Upper Lot

JURASSIC PARK
Compressed air water cannons in the splashdown pool of JP are back on.


STUDIO TOUR

The Studio Tour is the irrepressibly popular attraction that always commands a long wait time on busy day. It has such huge capacity and a long ride time, that guests really don’t mind the wait.

It looks hazy in the background because they use misters in the queue


The crushed Tram has returned to the front of the Kong entrance.


When they aren’t filming, you can catch glimpses of the new Munsters Reboot, 1313 Mockingbird Lane

They are likely using CGI for the roofline, but tis is a beautiful set!

That about wraps things up for Universal this week folks!  Be sure to show up to the park one half hour prior to park opening to ride Transformers first thing.  Stay hydrated and cool – Hollywood is a tough business.

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  • Algernon

    I wish Universal Studios were in Orange County. I hate driving through L.A.– dark freeways from stolen copper wires, freeways in bad shape, driving through gang territory, crazy drivers…

    I love the Simpsons, Jurrasic Park, and Tram Tour (except for the TV monitors that make it seem like a canned theme park ride, and not a candid tour where anything can happen).

    I’ll wait for the crowds to go down, though.

    • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

      I love Universal too. There is so much character to it. Being right there where the movies are made is magic. And in recent years they have really made huge strides in guest satisfaction as well, with lots of streetmosphere entertainment, happiness swat teams who show up when lines are long to entertain the crowds and hand out snacks, and of course, building some of the best rides in the world.

      What used to be a once a year park for us is now a once a month park. Though, I would say go when the temperatures are moderate. Uni doesn’t have much shade.

      • Algernon

        Yes, the place does have a certain magic.

  • Gregg Condon

    Where is the new Munsters house? Looks like it may be near the Chicken Ranch? It’s obviously not where the original house was. Sad they aren’t reusing it, but it does look nice.

    • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

      Yep. Right there at the Chicken Ranch.

  • Susan Hughes

    Universal always offers a “Buy One Day, Get The Rest Of The Year Free” promotion. I tried it one year and never went back. For me, the horrible traffic (even on a Sunday) just isn’t enough for me to want to return, even if it’s free.

  • Magicguy

    They announced 2 mazes last night, The Walking Dead based on the AMC show, and Silent Hill, the first time ever HHN has used a video game for a maze!

  • DLRaddict

    ^Those weren’t officially announced yet. There is expected to be a Silent Hill announcement at the Comic Con panel starting soon.

  • gonzo1306

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoPOMcZx7xA

    Just official Silent Hill is coming to both HHN this year.

    • Norman Gidney

      Yeah we just updated the article to include the official announcement made at Comic Con. Nikki Fink broke the Walking Dead information last night but no official announcement has been made yet.

      We will be on it.

      Don’t forget the MiceChat Universal Halloween Horror Nights event is October 6th. It’s going to be UH MAZE ING

  • wallaceproject

    I love going to Universal Studios Hollywood if ever I have the chance, considering I live in Northern Cali. I remember the first time I went was back in the mid 70′s when I was a toddler. The second time was in 97′ and that visit was so memorable. The backlot tour has been and always will be my favorite attraction. Went again in 2000 for my honeymoon and still just as much fun. However the last time we went (with kids) was back in 2010. We had fun, but the experience wasn’t the same to me. As much fun as the park still is, I noticed how different the park is today. The reason I say this is because before the experience allowed you to use your imagination more, especially on the tram tour when seeing movie sets. Now the park seems to take the experience to an in-your-face, never-forget moment, which is good, but for me it’s a bit too much. The tram tour feels too fluid and mobile. Passing by the sets was cool and allowed you to ponder the many movies filmed there, but now they try to make those sets come alive like the acting extras & props that take away the silent essence of the history and aura of the site. But of course you’ve got to change with the times, keep things fresh and new for future generations. I’m not hating on USH, I still love the place, just remember fonder memories of the park. But that’ll never stop me from coming. It’s still a must-see place to visit whenever you come to L.A. It’s still one of my favorite places to come and spend the day.

    • Algernon

      That’s exactly how I feel. I miss the Conan the Barbarian Show, in that theater with the waterfall curtain and the fire-breathing dragon at the end; and the Miami Vice Show. I liked the old-style Tram Tour better, too. And I liked E.T.. I haven’t been to the new 3D King Kong, yet, but I really liked that giant robot ape they used to have.

  • Pingback: Experience Silent Hill and The Walking Dead in the Flesh at HHN « The Scare Zone()

  • The Forbidden Eye

    With that kind of wait for the Tour, I’m glad I got the Premium Star Annual Pass. It includes Priority Boarding on the Tour and the Flexpay is only $10 a month.

  • Fan

    Per John Murdy, Silent Hill is going in the Mummy extended queue.

  • DLRaddict

    The Silent Hill maze is called Welcome to Silent Hill and will be located behind the Mummy in the Mummy Extended Queue.

  • doobwah

    I just went to Universal yesterday with my brother. We got there around 7:45am in hopes of beating the crowds to Transformers. Little did we expect them to already be letting guests into the park. Transformers is opening at 7:30am for the summer, which is a brilliant idea. We managed to ride Transformers 3 times, as well as Jurassic Park and Mummy one time each, all before 8:45am. Heading back to the Upper Lot, we were then able to knock out the rest of the park fairly quickly and called it a day around 4pm. The secret to beating the crazy crowds is definitely getting there by 7:30am.