It’s been almost another week since our last visit, and with all these Wizarding World of Harry Potter soft-openings we just can’t stay away! Here’s this week’s update with some Jurassic Park progress, more on the new Hollywood Boulevard, new stores, refurbishment of the entry plaza in front of the park, and a whole lot more!
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Let us start outside of the park! With the newly refurbished Universal Studios Store on Citywalk! They placed the new logo globe as backdrop as well as refurbished ‘Universal’ letters. (Not noticeable in the picture: ) The windows below have been ‘pottered’, being framed with Hogwarts Castle-like window frames 🙂 Everyone may guess what they’ll be selling there… 😛 Over at the entry plaza, the kiosk fest has started with (I’d say) roughly 50 new ticket kiosks… whatever potter will be bringing… It’s going to be an insane amount of people. There’s a reason for all these kiosks. The Universal Globe has been refurbished, though the mist effects weren’t turned on today. Behind those walls a lot of preparations are going on for the enhanced security measures the park is taking. Once inside the park, the new Hollywood Grille and Bistro fences have been placed. Expect a nice seating area accommodating the refurbished restaurant. Here’s an overall shot that should give you a nice indication of how large the patio would be, and of the renovation that’s currently in progress. Across from which the new ‘Hollywood Boulevard’ is shaping up even more nicely than last week! With many added details! Such as the awnings seen here. And the Hollywood Apartments light-up sign attached to one of the fronts of the GIGANTIC new Universal Studios Store. Overall it looks very nice, can’t say it enough. I would’ve way rather seen a high capacity ride inside, but dang this complex is visually very pleasing! The Starbucks sign has been added in addition to the letters on the front of the store. They were training employees all night, so it seems like this mega-starbucks will soon be opening. Here are some of the facades that tower over the Starbucks. All incredibly detailed as well. Also on the Upper Lot, there finally seems to be some sort of work going on at Mel’s diner, though I have no clue if (and when) they’ll reopen. Of course we had to spend most of our day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter… because there’s a simple formula for life I’ve discovered: Butterbeer+ Forbidden Journey+ the occasional ride on the Flight of the Hippogriff = eternal happiness. Guess the following tie didn’t sell well in Orlando. 😛 Moving on to the Studio Tour… The ‘Kong destroyed’ Studio Tour tram car has been placed back over at King Kong 360 3D. It was located next to the War of the World set for (presumably) refurbishment for a while. And after a lengthy refurbishment… the Little Europe sets of the Universal Backlot were open again for the trams to roll through 🙂 Moving on to the Lower Lot of Universal Studios Hollywood… the Jurassic Park- the Ride has been filled with water again 🙂 Flowing water (even more important). They seemed to still be working on mechanics on top of the first lift, even though the top section (first half of the ride) was also filled up entirely. Exciting news to add, the ride is expected to get another major refurbishment to be rebranded to become Jurassic World with enhanced and upgraded scenes and of course the switch to the Jurassic World theme and brand. This could happen in either 2017 or 2018 🙂 The Raptor Encounter has reopened last week, guests really seem to love this experience! Staying on the Lower Lot… the third potter store outside of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has opened… I mean a little much perhaps? The park isn’t that big, there’s currently more potter merchandise to be found than anything else. Nonetheless, potter is awesome, so just like me… I’m sure you’ll get some potter merchandise. The Jurassic Outfitters store has reopened, despite the fact that the ride for which the gift store was built is still closed. Also on the lower lot, the new to-go food place ‘Studio Cafe’ seems to be ready to open at any moment! It actually looks quite nice, though I do already miss the NBCUniversal Experience. Hopefully we’ll see such museum coming to the new complex on the Upper Lot!
Last but not least, in case you didn’t know yet… The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been having plenty of technical rehearsals lately! So step by the park some time soon, there’s a good chance they’ll open up for at least a few hours! We just published our ‘Exploring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter‘ post! Check it out!
Thank you for checking out this quick Universal Studios Hollywood update, I’ll be back with a lot more in the near future! If you haven’t yet, check out our look around the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! We’ll have a Six Flags Magic Mountain/ New Revolution Update later this weekend!
Check out our sister site’s new SMILER Ride Review! This coaster is under a lot of media attention, but with the most inversions on any coaster on earth, our European crew sure loved it when it was operating. Learn everything about the ride by checking out their Ride Review!