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  1. #1

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    Question Universal Studios Hollywood - Theme Park or Studio Park?

    This isn't so much aimed at what the park is *now* so much as where ComCast is guiding the park to in the future.

    Right now it'd be hard to argue that the park is not in transition. In a physical sense, what really feels like the majority of the upper lot is being removed and replaced with a variety of themed attractions. There's a definite feeling of transformation to the additions as well.

    The nature of those additions is what I'm wondering about.

    USH *used* to be very easily defined as a "studio park". You showed up, did the studio tour, took your picture in studio-themed picture spots, ate in "movie magic" themed restaurants, shopped in generic stores and went home.

    Now? I would argue strong pretensions towards "theme park". The studio elements seem to be falling by the wayside - some such as the Special Effects show are geared towards the 'behind the scenes' feel, but elsewhere the shift is fairly pronounced. As an example of an attraction retconned into "themed ride", look at Mummy. It started as Brendan Fraiser presenting a warning that the set was cursed etc., but that has been removed and now it's essentially you in the Tomb, period. It's set in the sterile Lower Lot, but inside up until launch the theme's pretty immersive. Past attractions - Twister and Backdraft pop to mind - were very specifically 'behind the scenes views' and have been removed for 'you are there' attractions such as Mummy, Jurassic Park and Transformers.

    Despicable Me seems to be furthering this as well - it's not just a structure with a "demo" going on inside, it's an entire 'miniland' with a paired ride a la Springfield at USO. WWOHP is the giant, themed beast that it is. Neither of these is presented as "welcome to the sets".

    So to sum up - do you feel USH is trying to transform into a full time legitimate theme park, complete with the themed areas and attractions as the centerpiece, or do you feel this is a distraction that will eventually see a return to the "behind the scenes" nature of the studio tour? If the former, where will this leave the backlot and tour? If the latter, how do they blend all these disparate parts together?
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

  2. #2

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    Re: Universal Studios Hollywood - Theme Park or Studio Park?

    Quote Originally Posted by BogLurch View Post
    This isn't so much aimed at what the park is *now* so much as where ComCast is guiding the park to in the future.

    Right now it'd be hard to argue that the park is not in transition. In a physical sense, what really feels like the majority of the upper lot is being removed and replaced with a variety of themed attractions. There's a definite feeling of transformation to the additions as well.

    The nature of those additions is what I'm wondering about.

    USH *used* to be very easily defined as a "studio park". You showed up, did the studio tour, took your picture in studio-themed picture spots, ate in "movie magic" themed restaurants, shopped in generic stores and went home.

    Now? I would argue strong pretensions towards "theme park". The studio elements seem to be falling by the wayside - some such as the Special Effects show are geared towards the 'behind the scenes' feel, but elsewhere the shift is fairly pronounced. As an example of an attraction retconned into "themed ride", look at Mummy. It started as Brendan Fraiser presenting a warning that the set was cursed etc., but that has been removed and now it's essentially you in the Tomb, period. It's set in the sterile Lower Lot, but inside up until launch the theme's pretty immersive. Past attractions - Twister and Backdraft pop to mind - were very specifically 'behind the scenes views' and have been removed for 'you are there' attractions such as Mummy, Jurassic Park and Transformers.

    Despicable Me seems to be furthering this as well - it's not just a structure with a "demo" going on inside, it's an entire 'miniland' with a paired ride a la Springfield at USO. WWOHP is the giant, themed beast that it is. Neither of these is presented as "welcome to the sets".

    So to sum up - do you feel USH is trying to transform into a full time legitimate theme park, complete with the themed areas and attractions as the centerpiece, or do you feel this is a distraction that will eventually see a return to the "behind the scenes" nature of the studio tour? If the former, where will this leave the backlot and tour? If the latter, how do they blend all these disparate parts together?
    GREAT POST.
    To begin mine, I admit to being a novice in USH history. My research is limited in scope, however one of the more interesting things I've come across was that that this all began with folks watching silents being filmed from bleachers? Please feel free to correct any inaccuracies. I feel as though there is still much validity in this premise.
    Let folks be part of the process. Witnesses to, what has proven to be, recorded history, albeit drama, comedy, etc...

  3. #3

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    Re: Universal Studios Hollywood - Theme Park or Studio Park?

    USH is transforming into a full blown theme park with themed lands. The heart of the park and biggest selling point will always be the Studio Tour, but it's obvious that Comcast sees that demand to see the whole "behind the scenes" aspect to making movies isn't there anymore.

    Heck almost any DVD purchased to day has "making of the movie" segments, and a simple search of movie making on the Internet will give you just about anything you want to know about the movie making process.

    People still want to see where thier favorite movies were made, but don't really need to pay to see how they were made.

  4. #4

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    Re: Universal Studios Hollywood - Theme Park or Studio Park?

    They don't need to see how they were made until they are in Hollywood. Then they need to see how they are made.

  5. #5

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    Re: Universal Studios Hollywood - Theme Park or Studio Park?

    It is becoming a hybrid. Universal saw how much more liked IOA was and Disney too. USH is unfortunately like WDS in Paris, just with better attractions.

    It will take a long time, decades for all of the movie style and movie based attractions to be replaced and they strategy could shift.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Universal Studios Hollywood - Theme Park or Studio Park?

    I really really liked Backdraft and I miss it. I always do the tram tour at Universal. I love seeing the behind the scenes stuff and I hope they don't get too far from that. As cool as the themed areas and rides are...
    I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

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    Re: Universal Studios Hollywood - Theme Park or Studio Park?

    This might be my last post here and i'm going to say this... Universal Studios Hollywood is essentialy the Hybrid park done right.

    Right now They have really good capacity numbers due to Transformers but the main reason its leaning more into a themepark is

    potter and for one reason. They want to make the park ready for crowds. thats why we got the plaza and thats why we're getting

    DM and Simpsons Fast food and the Hotels as they really want to be prepared for Potter and if they have to take the risk of being

    more of a themepark then they're taking it and i'm happy that they're doing it. Now synora and good luck micechat.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Universal Studios Hollywood - Theme Park or Studio Park?

    I'd say both the Tram is the main reason to come...but the rides are what gives it extra legs and new things to see

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    Re: Universal Studios Hollywood - Theme Park or Studio Park?

    I'm personally suspecting a lessening of the "studio" portion of the park. I'm willing to be convinced otherwise through actions (and there ARE studio tour additions planned as part of the Vision Plan), but the recent push in additions by the park has been very much away from 'behind the scenes' and more towards Disney-esque themed additions.

    It'll be entertaining, at least. Knott's has the land, but Uni has the drive.
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

  10. #10

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    Re: Universal Studios Hollywood - Theme Park or Studio Park?

    If would be interesting to find out if overall changes in the filming industry is causing Universal to rethink the purpose of the park. Since it is a real working studio, I know in the past all the attractions had to be enclosed so sound would not leak onto the studio lot.

    I was also told the studio determined the location and size/theming of the buildings so they would not destroy the site lines from the studio. Now that more and more things are going green screen or being filmed outside LA, I wonder if those constraints still exist.

  11. #11

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    Re: Universal Studios Hollywood - Theme Park or Studio Park?

    USH desperately needs to increase park capacity. Even after potter opens there will still be too little to do there and the crowds will be horrific. To do that they need to increase the number of stand alone attractions. Adding elements to the tram tour helps to keep it fresh but does little to increase park capacity. There may be no other choice but to carve out some of the backlot space in order to build new stand alone attractions.

  12. #12

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    Re: Universal Studios Hollywood - Theme Park or Studio Park?

    Quote Originally Posted by sheetz View Post
    USH desperately needs to increase park capacity. Even after potter opens there will still be too little to do there and the crowds will be horrific. To do that they need to increase the number of stand alone attractions. Adding elements to the tram tour helps to keep it fresh but does little to increase park capacity. There may be no other choice but to carve out some of the backlot space in order to build new stand alone attractions.

    Maybe, but it may follow IOAs pattern. Everyone at WWOHP and the rest of the park empty.
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    Re: Universal Studios Hollywood - Theme Park or Studio Park?

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    Maybe, but it may follow IOAs pattern. Everyone at WWOHP and the rest of the park empty.
    I dunno. USH is just so small in acreage with so few attractions... will the new Potterland really be able to empty out the rest of the park? I suspect the rest of the park will still feel relatively busy just from Potter's overflow.

  14. #14

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    Re: Universal Studios Hollywood - Theme Park or Studio Park?

    Quote Originally Posted by sheetz View Post
    I dunno. USH is just so small in acreage with so few attractions... will the new Potterland really be able to empty out the rest of the park? I suspect the rest of the park will still feel relatively busy just from Potter's overflow.
    I wouldn't be surprised in the least if the "park" side of operations ate at least one or two soundstages in the midrange future. They already have encroached heavily on a couple, and HHN pushed the boundaries further than I've ever seen them pushed.

    As to the attraction mix, Transformers will help - with that anchoring the lineup of Mummy and Jurassic, they should be able to keep people heading downstairs. I just hope they get the Simpsons plaza straightened out if the park's numbers keep heading up. It gets nightmarish at the head of the escalators.
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

  15. #15

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    Re: Universal Studios Hollywood - Theme Park or Studio Park?

    Quote Originally Posted by sheetz View Post
    I dunno. USH is just so small in acreage with so few attractions... will the new Potterland really be able to empty out the rest of the park? I suspect the rest of the park will still feel relatively busy just from Potter's overflow.
    Did you get to IOA when WWOHP opened. The trend still happens but in a milder way now.

    Almost every guest streamed to Potter, Lines were and are huge. Many guests went for the main ride, look around the land and it took hours, then they left. Because so many of the guest were packing into WWoHP and some leaveing right after, it made the rest of the park calm.

    I think this could be more pronounced in USH, because it's a local park and we've all seen everything else.
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