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  1. #16

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    Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

    LAME!!

    From Screamscape:

    (12/8/06) While I have yet to see any images of the new Vision Plan for Universal Studios Hollywood, it seems that the plan will call for Norman Bates famous Psycho House and the Bates Motel to be removed to make way for the 124 acre Universal Village residential project. Other famous studio tour icons that would be placed in front of the bulldozers would be the War of the Worlds disaster scene, Colonial Street and European Street. The Universal Village project would replace all these with 2,900 new apartments, lofts and town-homes, as well as 35 acres of hiking trails and parks that I assume will be the buffer area between it and the studios. If it seems like the development plan is a little lopsided, it is. While Universal seems happy to give up nearly 125 acres of their studio backlot property that is closest to the more vocal and troublesome neighbors on the hillside, the reported 80,000 square foot expansion of the theme park itself translates to a pathetic 1.83 acres. As a direct comparison, Splash Mountain at Disneyland is said to take up 2.3 acres of space by itself.
    A final thought about the Universal Village site... this article raises one great question. Whoever gets to build a new home on the site of the former Psycho house, will they ever take showers?

    "You're not thinking fourth dimensionally!" -Back to the Future

    "With this place, I wanted to give them something real, something that wasn't an illusion, something they could see and touch. An aim devoid of merit."
    -Jurassic Park

  2. #17

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    Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    Just FYI folks, this is for Universal Hollywood, not Florida.

    The article mentions Universal City which is in CA.

    I'm most excited about the mention of a replacement for Gibson Amphitheatre. Gut that place and put Spiderman AND MIB there!!!

    "...and a 3,000-seat live entertainment venue which could replace the current Gibson Ampitheatre."

    Doesn't sound like a ride would go there if they are saying a 3000 seat live entertainment venue.

  3. #18

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    Re: Universal reveals the "Vision Plan" - Variety 12/6/06

    NOTE: this is a copy of a post I posted elsewhere on the site, but I think it is appropriate here as well. Enjoy.

    This does not surprise me. GE has been looking very hard at their property and looking for additional ways to capitalize on the park and studio. I am not surprised to see WW set for demo on the new map. It is a huge space and it is moving into its 12th year in operation. The show still packs people in, but its been 12 years. The overall scope of the project looks like it is meant to reshape the park.

    Universal desperately needs to re-brand and either commit huge sums of money to update the park on a regular basis or look at other ways to use the property. There are many benefits Universal in this plan. The idea seems to turn the upper lot and the additional land into a Paseo Colorado type development. (If your not familiar with Pasadena, Paseo Colorado is a mixed use entertainment, living development on Colorado Blvd in Pasadena. It is highly innovative and is a good use of land providing both housing and services.) It would seem that Universal is looking to do something like this at Universal City. From a business stand point it makes good sense. You build houses and condos above retail and restaurants and throw in a good bit of entertainment of you have an area where people will want to live.

    As far as the park goes I can’t say that it would break my heart to see it demolished. Universal does not have the charm that Disney does. Universal lacks the commitment to show that Disney has and Universal does not make attractions or movies that are lasting. They are second rate; they know it and they don’t try to move away from that image. How long has T2 not been working correctly? Ever ridden JP when it is not working correctly? It’s not just a day or so here and there, but months on end while effects do not work. At WW you can see the trees over the set and catch a glimpse of back stage during different effects. The overall look, feel and the atmosphere (both in buildings and in workers attitude) is dingy and less than appealing. Not to mention Universal’s abysmal use of color and architecture. There is not anything in the park that is moving or compelling. I understand the film buffs interest in Universal’s theme park, but it the park lacks a universal appeal. Universal has something no other park in the world has; they have not effectively sold it nor have they effectively exploited it.

    Perhaps a major shakeup like this will be good for Universal. I hope that Universal looks at making the park a public walk thru. The idea here is to remove the turnstiles and charge by the ride. That would force Universal to keep their attractions in good working order and as their utility diminishes they would be forced to update and replace. At the same time they could mix shopping and other entertainments into the existing park and create a very revolutionary form of themed entertainment development. From the UCVision site it appears that this is the very form that they may be shooting for. I personally think that this is great use of the park and the property. I look forward to watching Universal’s growth.

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