Universal Studios Hollywood: March 2015 Harry Potter and Simpsons Construction Update
It feels as though we can almost taste the Butterbeer as construction continues on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood.
The arch leading into Hogsmeade Village is complete, and we can see the frame of Hogwarts Castle's astronomy tower behind it. Elsewhere in the village, buildings have gotten their roofs and quite a bit more exterior detail.
The framing of Hogwarts Castle is now complete, too.
Okay, the American flag flying atop the astronomy tower is out of theme, but that is the traditional symbol in the United States of building construction reaching its top height. Hogwarts has topped out.
Next to that entrance arch, we find The Simpsons' hometown of Springfield nearing completion. The Lard Lad has arrived.
And we can see abundant detail in the new land, which is located directly behind Hogsmeade Village and across from The Simpsons Ride. You can see Krusty Burger and Moe's Tavern in the foreground, and the facades of many favorite Springfield landmarks behind and above them.
Cletus' Chicken Shack is here, too.
How close are these two new lands to each other? Let's walk around the bend to the literal intersection of The Simpsons and Harry Potter. One wall is Springfield and the other Hogsmeade.
Universal's trying to have some fun with all the construction disrupting and transforming its Upper Lot. I found this construction worker giving directions and chatting up a group of visitors. Then I realized that construction workers in theme parks never spend that much time talking with guests.
Yep, it's one of Universal's street atmosphere actors, dressed as a construction worker, entertaining visitors in the park. That's a fun touch.
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I don't know if I love or hate USH's Springfield. It's cool that they're getting a lot of the town's landmarks in there, but it's so cluttered and busy that it simply doesn't work.
Yes, this is Hogsmeade Village only, though it's great fun to speculate just where USH could cram Diagon Alley into this park. (Waterworld? Somewhere on the backlot? A cross-country Hogwarts Express that just takes you all the way to Orlando's?)
Springfield in Orlando was cute, and good for photo ops, but we didn't spend much time there. We did the Simpsons ride, took a couple pics, looked around, then split. Diagon Alley is really the place where you can spend hours exploring every nook and cranny.
Hope you Californians enjoy these two great attractions as much as we have here in Florida!
I went to the park, and an employee informed me has it that the Springfield "food court" should be soft opening this month with the rest, including Duff Brewery, the Taco Truck, and Phineas Q Butterfat's opening a little later.
Russell, I agree. Some wit and taste along with a strong editor could have made that a hit. The Potter stuff is sharp. Be interesting to put the whole Potter thing in a Biosphere so that it could be enveloped in the appropriate fog, mists and rain rather than the sharp edge of Southern California sun.
Max LaZebebnik, I'm going to Universal Studios Hollywood tomorrow, I been before but what should I expect, w/ all the construction & such?!? Also, did the employee say *when* the Springfield "food Court" will be in it's "soft opening" stage?
The employee didn't say the exact day, but certainly sometime this month. They're so close to being done with construction but aren't 100%, so my speculation is that the walls could be down within the next week or two and it could potentially soft-open at the end of this month. And you can look at Robert's pictures above to see what you could expect, but the front part of Hogsmeade is also nearly complete, with the arch up, buildings with snow, and scaffolding coming down on the Three Broomsticks. Duff Brewery, Bumblebee Man's Taco Truck, and the Phineas Q Butterfat's are all being built where the former Ben & Jerry's and Louie's were on the Upper Lot. The park's a bit cluttered right now, so you temporarily have to enter through the Special Effects Stages' exit to get to the Simpsons Ride, Lower Lot, and the Studio Tour.
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