Theme Park Insider

Universal Hollywood announces... a new logo and CityWalk tweaks

June 21, 2016, 8:08 AM · Fans looking for big news from Universal Studios Hollywood about new attractions and additional park expansions awoke to disappointment this morning, as the park's "exciting news" turned out to be little more than a tweaked new logo and a rehash of the park's recent changes.

The transformation of Universal Studios Hollywood over the past few years is impressive, to be sure. But it's no longer news to Theme Park Insiders. We know all about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, the new Walking Dead attraction, and even the new CityWalk restaurants, such as LudoBird and Voodoo Doughnut.

Universal did throw in a couple of details that we hadn't reported before — most notably a major refurbishment for the AMC theaters, which will include "deluxe recliner seating and a cool bar/lounge." That will be ready early next year, as will the new Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.

Update: Here's more detail on the theaters:

CityWalk’s revitalization will elevate the Universal Cinemas to new heights as it undergoes a complete refurbishment. This includes the installation of deluxe recliner seats to all 18 theatres—the equivalent of those found in Hollywood screening rooms—making every seat, the best seat in the house. Each redesigned theatre will be fully upgraded with Christie RGB Laser projection Dolby Atmos immersive surround sound and equipped with Christie Vive speakers for optimal audio performance.

But we still don't have any official word about a planned new hotel at Universal Studios Hollywood, or where and when we'll be getting the new Secret Life of Pets attraction that NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke confirmed the company is developing. And we haven't heard a official whisper about Diagon Alley or any new Harry Potter elements coming to the park.

Anyway, here's the announcement:

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Replies (9)

June 21, 2016 at 8:38 AM · What a let down! Who on earth announces a new sign and restaurants?!
June 21, 2016 at 9:41 AM · USH's management needs to get a clue. $1 billion later and the park is still lacking in so many ways.
June 21, 2016 at 9:42 AM · These are the new things not mentioned above.

1. The movie theater is renamed as the Universal Cinemas with new reclining seating. (Not exactly an unique thing.)
2. New Chinese restaurant from restaurant chain based in China. Will be a feature for Chinese tourists.(I will have to try it out, but first see a Yelp review.)

I wonder if they will re-imagine the lower lot. They need to add real theming to the soundstage warehouses.

June 21, 2016 at 9:56 AM · Well, that was disappointing. While there is nothing wrong with announcing refurbishment plans for the cinema and showing off the park's new logo, the problem here lies in the fact that Universal sold today's announcement as being the unveiling for phase 2 of the Evolution project. Most of the video was just bragging about how much the park and CityWalk have changed over the past five years.

A case could be made that this video is made for passive fans of the park; those who haven't been to the park in a while and don't keep up with the changes regularly, unlike here on Theme Park Insider. However, my assumption is that if you're subscribed to Universal Studios Hollywood's YouTube channel, chances are that you already know about all of these changes.

One thing that does surprise me is that there was no mention of the Secret Life of Pets attraction. It was officially announced yesterday and, as far as I can tell, construction has already started next to Transformers.

June 21, 2016 at 10:01 AM · Hopefully they can also remodel the AMC at the City Walk in Orlando. That theater doesn't look like it's been remodeled since the 90s and is very outdated
June 21, 2016 at 10:19 AM · How is that even an announcement?? That sounds like more of something that one would announce quietly on Twitter opposed to making it out to be a grand exciting announcement. Furthermore, while USH definitely has made quite a few huge improvements over the last few years, I still can't justify the price of admission. So admission is basically over $100 per day depending on what day you visit, but there's only 9 rides and three shows. What a ripoff!! Meanwhile, down the street, Disneyland admission is only about $10 more and yet you get 5 times the rides and attractions. Not just that, but most of USH's rides are motion simulators, so basically every ride is the same with just a different video playing and a few different movements. Personnally, I feel like USH is no more than a $50 per day park.
June 21, 2016 at 10:55 AM · That was underwhelming. It's not so much that the announcement is worthless, it's that this is the type of announcement that generally gets very little pre-announcement hype. I have to wonder if USH is planning a larger announcement in mid/late July after Secret Life of Pets opens, as the cat is out of the bag as far as that attraction is concerned.
June 21, 2016 at 12:38 PM · Maybe attendance has been so bad that they felt they needed to remind people they exist?
June 21, 2016 at 1:08 PM · Trying to steal some thunder from Epcot...

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