In an unprecedented release, Universal Studios Hollywood parent company Comcast and Universal Creative have put the finishing touches on a deal that will see a 70% revamp of the entire Universal Studios Hollywood resort. While this new has been circulating for a few days now, the sheer level of additions and changes to the park and surrounding area necessitates us writing about it. As noted by senior staff of Universal, the changes will be so drastic that the actual layout of the park will be altered.
Though we have all been aware of the addition of a Harry Potter wing to Universal Hollywood was coming in 2015, this latest 5 year plan addition will see some dramatic changes said to begin the war against the mouse that Universal Orlando started with its Harry Potter World addition. With Disneyland (a local favourite) not far away, Universal Creative will have to pull out all the stops to draw crowds away from the mouse. They seem posed to do just that with fan favourites coming out of every corner all in one plan.
This spring scheduled for mid-April Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Super Silly Funland will open as Universal Hollywood’s first major step into its revamp. In addition to these rides, the area will “shrink” guests to Minion size and allow them to explore locations from the Despicable Me films.
The second addition is of course the Harry Potter World build, which will see a similar build to its counterpart in Orlando. This will include Hogwarts as the visual weenie with additional film locations added into the section. Following this is where things get exciting if not a bit grey. There will be additions to the park that are also similar to their Orlando counterparts with slight alterations.
Another fan favourite seems poised to open in 2015 as well. “Springfield” will be similar to Orlando, however the locations will be altered or completely different. While there will be a Krustyburger and Moe’s tavern, there will also be Luigi’s Pizza and Phineas Q Butterfat’s 5600Flavours Ice cream Parlour and a Duff Brewery. The Simpson’s Ride (now closed) did not live up to the popularity of its Orlando counterpart and as such, no details about its opening or removal have been released.
Talk of a Universal Monsters ride is in the works as well, in addition to night-time add-ons of the currently closed at sundown tram tour (as seen on Halloween Horror nights, minus the horror).
There have been additional statements about two proposed hotels to the property but official releases have not been put out yet.
For the next stage the addition of Fast & Furious – Supercharged will Studio Tour tram guests into the driver seat in a similar way the addition of the King Kong experience has. Using special effects and hydraulic with an encompassing 360 film, tram riders will experience a high-speed race with the fast & Furious characters and cars in a purpose-built 50,000 square foot building.
The currently under construction “hub” will be completed this spring as part of a visual update to the central entry areas.
These ambitious additions are no doubt riding on the coat tails of Universal Orlando’s guest capacity figures since their Harry Potter launch and with the second part set to open this summer, it seems logical that Universal Creative would switch focus over to its West Coast sister park. Will this help boost lower figures for its Hollywood location, time will tell; but we have a few years to see what increases Universal will achieve and if it will justify the $1.6 billion dollar price tag.
We will keep you updated as these stages are completed.