Summer is right around the corner and there seem to be a few nice changes around Universal Studios Hollywood before the summer crowds hit. It was a very nice averagely crowded Friday with nice operating hours, so I made sure to spend some time at the park today. In today’s update we’ll look at a bunch of Jurassic Park related changes at the park and Studio Tour, as well as maze preparations for Halloween Horror Nights, the new Walking Dead Attraction, and more!
Let’s start with the hosts and hostesses at Universal Studios Hollywood, which (not too long ago) received new uniforms. I sort of miss the ‘backstage crew’ feel of the old black uniforms, but absolutely love the new formal outfits as well, adds to the professionalism and helps the park stand out right as guests enter. Let’s immediately dive into the other new attraction that will be opening at Universal Studios Hollywood this summer! The Walking Dead Attraction! The new attraction is opening on July 4th, and as you likely were already aware of is a year-round maze/walk-through type of attraction themed to the Walking Dead series. More info about the opening and current progress can be found here. The current noticeable construction seems to be some sort of entrance to the maze, which is currently still a black structure. I’m expecting this to display the wait time, attraction name, Gate A entrance, etc. Ever since the park refurbished the facades and the theming in the little France section of the park, it looks fantastic. Take a look! Now let’s get started with a whole bunch of Jurassic Park related things. Starting with the Raptor Encounter on the Lower Lot. There are several new themed elements around the midway attraction. And the Raptor Encounter currently takes place in a new expanded section of the attraction on the opposite side of the Jurassic Falls stand. The previous photo spot is now the entrance to a new interesting line that leads to the new photo op. The line passes by the splashdown lagoon of the River Adventure attraction, and the park added a lot more foliage to the area/Raptor Encounter line. Right before you get to the end of the new line for the Raptor Encounter, you will see the Jeep that was used on the set of the Jurassic World movie. (This Jeep was pulled from the Studio Tour Picture Car line-up to be featured in the line here). Speaking of the splashdown lagoon, the viewing area near the drop is now open to the public again and much easier to access since the Raptor Encounter line is now elsewhere, and is no longer hindering guests. And then Jurassic Park- The Ride was an interesting ride as well today… As the highlight of the attraction, the T-Rex, was covered up by a huge black screen and the ride’s finale became very odd. I hope they quickly have this fixed, as huge working lights and absolutely no climax really take away from the inside section of the ride. From the line of the River Adventure/ Jurassic Park- The Ride you can see that construction for the new Halloween Horror Nights mazes has already begun. This is a quick look from the Studio Tour. For those confused, this is the space that housed Insidious: Chapter 3 last Halloween Horror Nights. Staying on the Lower Lot, there is a long construction wall segment that has been placed next to Transformers The Ride 3-D. The wall states ‘Stage 21’. Perhaps this will have to do with the expected Secret Life of Pets attraction that’s rumored to be the 2017 addition to the park’s line-up. Back to some more Jurassic Park related stuff, on the Studio Tour, 2 of the 4 ‘spitters’ have been taken out, presumably for refurbishment. I’m confident we all agree that it was necessary. One on each side of the tram remains. More about the Studio Tour, the water effects on King Kong 360 3D as well as Fast & Furious: Supercharged were turned off today, I’m unsure why this is the case but on both Studio Tour tram rides I took today, this was the case for both attractions. And on some of the newer Studio Tour trams, a tad different type of emergency cord has been installed, easier to grab, easier to see in case of an emergency, and has a cover over the rope. Of course I can’t go to Universal Studios Hollywood and not spend quite some time at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Of course Hogwarts was looking awesome as usual. (Btw, crucial message: Butterbeer is life, particularly Forzen Butterbeer) On Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey the second dementor seems to be broken and doesn’t move. And for those who haven’t ridden the ride lately, the death eater skull towards the end of the Chamber of Secret section of the ride has been re-positioned, no longer showing the projector, just the skull, adding to the perfect experience!
That was it for this Universal Studios Hollywood Update! Make sure to check out our hit MASS EFFECT: NEW EARTH Media Day Report!