Theme Park Insider

Universal Studios Hollywood Construction Update: October 2014

October 26, 2014, 9:54 PM · Construction is moving at a brisk pace on the Upper Lot at Universal Studios Hollywood, where Springfield and Hogsmeade Village both remain on track for their openings in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Foot traffic on the Upper Lot has been reduced to one narrow path between construction walls on the way to The Simpsons Ride, Studio Tour and the Starway.

Construction

On the left, Louie's Pizza and Pasta has closed.

Louie's Pizza and Pasta

Meanwhile, construction on the Springfield USA restaurants appears to have reached full height.

Future west-coast home of Krusty Burger

On the other side of Springfield, construction continues on Hogsmeade Village and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Here's the entrance to Hogsmeade, with the familiar arch from the Orlando version taking shape in the middle.

Hogsmeade Village construction

And here is what Hogsmeade looks like from the other side, from the Studio Tour exit.

More Hogsmeade construction

Of course, the highlight of all this is the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where the show building is approaching full enclosure, with facade work yet to begin.

Hogwarts Castle construction

A couple more items to note: With no trace left of the Flintstones Bar-B-Q, Universal has added a turkey leg to the menu at neighboring Pink's. However, Universal also has reduced the offerings on the Pink's menu, which is now down to a chili/cheese dog, the Mulholland dog, and a chili cheeseburger, in addition to the turkey leg, a plain hot dog, and a chicken Caesar salad (from Louie's). With cutbacks at Gru's Lab Cafe, too, the food options at the park continue to narrow for people who want something more than prepared "grab and go" options. (Universal Studios Hollywood remains the only major theme park in the country without a table service restaurant in the park.)

On a happier note, we visited this weekend on my birthday, using the free companion ticket that Universal sends to each annual passholder for their birthday month. This includes passholders with the $92 "buy a day, get the year" ticket. That's a $77 birthday present when you consider the price of the discounted companion ticket sold to USH annual passholders. So let's count that as one more perk for a USH annual pass. (Update: Now hearing that Universal's no longer giving away birthday tickets for new APs, starting with ones sold this month. Oh, well.)

At least we still have the birthday button!

Birthday button

Replies (7)

October 27, 2014 at 1:53 AM · Is there an estimated time of year 2016 for Harry Potter to open? I'm planning a possible trip that year for the extended family and it would be great to catch it after it opens (preferably on a quiet day...).
October 27, 2014 at 1:53 AM · Is there an estimated time of year 2016 for Harry Potter to open? I'm planning a possible trip that year for the extended family and it would be great to catch it after it opens (preferably on a quiet day...).
October 27, 2014 at 4:39 AM · If the turnout is anything like when HP east coast opened up, there won't be a quiet day for Hogwarts in the first 6 to 12 months after opening. And even then, a "quiet" day could end up having a multi hour wait for Forbidden Journey.
October 27, 2014 at 8:36 PM · Robert,

Were you able to see the underside of Harry Potter when going by on the tram? I caught it last night at HHN. Quite a construction endeavor to build Harry Potter out over the hill.

And the Fast&Furious bldg is coming along quite well. Clearly will be ready well before Harry Potter.

The other thing that worries me, noticing how narrow the pathways are now, they aren't going to be much wider once HP opens in 2016. That entry way and main walkway is going to be very crowded. Do you think there will be a "secret exit" on the backside of Harry Potter that will put visitors closer to the main gate?

October 29, 2014 at 10:48 PM · Instead of fighting the crazy crowds to ride FJ in Hollywood two years from now, you can ride it right now for minimal waits in the single rider line in Orlando. Plus you can stroll over to the other park, or take the train, and check out Diagon Alley.

Harry Potter has arrived, people. You don't have to wait another two years.

October 30, 2014 at 4:24 PM · I agree with M. Ryan Traylor. If you notice, the WWOHP in both Japan and Orlando have a deserted area right before you enter the land to basically make a more dramatic entrance with unfolding tall trees until the dark bricks are revealed. But Hollywood doesnt have that space. the land will be squeezed in between sprinfield and shrek 4D. also with that said, i feel as if the land wont be as fully immersive consdering that 1.springfield is literally attached to hogsmeade and the bright fun building will be visible from the dark musty world of harry potter, 2.the forbidden journey show building can be seen from every corner of the park unlike Orlandos and basically reveals that the audience will not be entering an actual real castle but rather a costco warehouse and 3.the entrance of the wizarding world stands out in the park and can be seen from the main gate before you even enter the theme park. this makes the land less dramatic and with all of the other themes occuring around it, will probably give guests anxiety attacks because there are just too many things going on in one area. What are your thoughts?
October 30, 2014 at 8:43 PM · I plan on purchasing an annual pass when Harry Potter opens to people watch.

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