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Universal Hollywood Dying?

Universal Studios Hollywood: Universal Hollywood is going to fall in the attendance for 2010 in my opinion. Not having many attractions. What are some things they could do to improve?

From Josh Morgra
Posted February 22, 2011 at 10:32 PM
It not hard to figure out that Universal Hollywood is going to struggle to make the top 10 in Theme park attendance. Last year they came only 75,000 people over Seaworld San Diego. They are going to fall in the ranking with both of the parks under them coming out with new attractions in the coming month. Sea world has the new shamu show coming out at the end of may that bound to bring some people (heak it bring me) along with the new sea turtle aquarium, and Manta roller coaster in 2012. Do you think Universal's Transformers ride will be good enoph to compete? We don't know if this will be a good ride. Right now Universal only has three major rides (Mummys, Jurassic park and the Simpsons Ride)along with two shows. Right now they should add more rides sure their buget low but they shouldn't be worring about slowing down traffic to the park by oping up more exits, becuase if they don't improve their park their wont be much traffic. They should bring up some good rides from Universal Orlando like The Men in Black ride that wont cost as much as a roller coaster. Then they should bring in a brand new attractions like Avatar (by the way I got a great plan for that) to replace the slowly aging Tirmanator show and to give the park more recent hits. Their is a basic plan for Universal to have a fighting chance in the coming years.

What's your thoughts?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Robert Niles
Posted February 22, 2011 at 7:49 PM
I don't think USH will slip behind SWSD in 2010. Remember, USH debuted King Kong 360 this past summer, and recovered from the backlot fire which held attendance down in 2009.

SeaWorld opened Blue Horizons, but whatever bump it might have from that may have been offset by the bad publicity from the death of a killer whale trainer in Orlando earlier in the year.

Long term, USH is hampered by its location, straddling a mountainside in the middle of a densely developed city. The U.S. debut of Transformers in 2012 will help the park, though.

Still, I think that the top nine parks will have separated themselves further from the second tier of USH, SWSD and Busch Gardens Tampa in 2010.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted February 22, 2011 at 9:40 PM
USH is more than just a theme park: its a movie studios and an old one at that!

Its a small park, thats it!

From Josh Morgra
Posted February 22, 2011 at 10:22 PM
I agree with you that USH will stay ahead of the local amusment parks not including the disney parks. But in the long run will USH still stay on top of SWSD becuase now it opeing up to the trill seakers that live in SoCal. While USH has old rides people have rode many of times in both parks. Will Universal start thinking about bosting there ride becuase now SWSD has more rides(but it dosn't matter on the quantey as to the quality of the rides). Or maybe consider buing new land where they wouldn't have to worry about the sound stages and filming areas around them.

From Robert Niles
Posted February 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM
Due to the coastal height restrictions on building at SeaWorld San Diego, that park never will challenge Universal Hollywood for thrill-seekers. The San Diego version of Manta is basically a family coaster, hardly a thrill ride. From what I've heard of both rides, I think that Transformers will beat Manta easily for thrills, publicity and attendance boost in 2012.

From Roy Duncan
Posted February 24, 2011 at 3:25 PM
I agree that USH needs to do something. Most southern California parks lack space but work with the restrictions. Disneyland practically makes it an art form to utilize every bit of space it can. USH needs to have people come in to utilize its space to the maximum too. I know there are more restrictions for USH due to noise and visibility from the back lot but surely more can be done. The evolution plan that was proposed awhile back should be redone for more park expansion and entertainment options.

Transformers will help. That will make the park with 4 major rides plus the back lot tour which would make a good day of fun, but more is needed. I also want them to increase their number of attractions, not just replacing older ones with newer ones.

Couldn't the Backdraft attraction have been placed on the back lot and incorporated into the tram ride? I would rather experience that (or Orlando's Twister) on the tram tour than the Fast and Furious stop.

Couldn't some of Orlando's smaller attractions come to USH? Like the Cat in the Hat dark ride? Or any dark ride for that matter. I think a smaller dark ride based on the Universal Monsters would be a great addition. With the exception of House of Horrors, the classic monsters get no love in the park.

How about bringing something bigger like Men in Black to USH but themeing it to Ghostbusters?

Could the Gibson be moved to the other side of CityWalk? Or anywhere else on property? It takes up a lot of room and although I think it adds a lot for entertainment at USH, it seems awkward being inside the park when it seems it would work better as a part of Citywalk.

Do we really need both Coke Splash zone and Curious George?

I also think the Universal Experience should be much larger and closer to the main entrance. This is a major studio with a rich history. The Universal Experience could be a major attraction all on it's own right and its tucked away in the lower lot with little attention and seemingly not much thought. Universal should celebrate and show off it's artifacts. They could easily create something that would take hours to explore and be very popular.

It just frustrates me because Universal Studios Hollywood could be so much more. To tourists and locals.


From Josh Morgra
Posted February 24, 2011 at 10:23 AM
Totaly agree with you Roy. Universal has some space and if their smart with their land like Disney they could add some of thoes smaller attractions. Anther thing they could do it put some of citywalk's land into the park. Then they could put like you said Ghostbusters in to the mix. Then they could even put their more intense attraction on the backlot and have their milder rides on the upperlot. I still do not think Universal will make the top 10 in 2011 becuase they have nothing new coming out. While the Sea World San Diego has two. it will be interesting though to see what the 2010 attendance looks like I know IOA will challenge California Adventure with their realese of Harry Potter and I think the plublicity fromt hat will increse USF too.

From Raul Araoz
Posted February 25, 2011 at 1:18 AM
USH will be just fine. The upcoming Transformers ride will be a solid draw in the coming year. However, it is noteworthy to point out that managers at USH are eager to get their own version of The Wizarding World and are supposedly talking with Ms. Rowling. They are considering removing the Amphitheater or large swaths of the backlot in order to build it.

From Robert Niles
Posted February 25, 2011 at 2:09 PM
I'd rather USH go big and try to land Potter than shoehorn a few flat rides into the Upper Lot.

From Bryan Fear
Posted March 1, 2011 at 2:44 PM
USH is hurting; I can tell from all the e-mail that I've received in the last 2 years that I've been an annual pass-holder. Although most of it is advertising, a few months ago I got what appeared to be a nondescript marketing survey. Just a few questions into it it became obvious that the marketing company's customer was USH fishing for ways to bring customers in. ( "What theme park do you visit when you want to experience the excitement of Hollywood movies?" and questions like that which repeated similar phrases over and over. A little common sense indicated who the marketing was trying to benefit. ) I interpreted it to be USH responding to a hemorrhaging wound.

The best answer I can give to the question being asked here is "Include attractions based on things the majority of people CARE about." Quit basing attractions on things that only serve some marketing guru's agenda to promote current releases. Some attractions really feel like they were thrust upon us as part of a package deal for promoting some movie. I could care less about those cars from the Fast and the Furious that were alongside the Blues Brothers stage for so long. People would STILL rather see the Knight Rider, Back to the Future, Dukes of Hazard and Blues Brothers cars over these modern ones that appeared in a here-today-gone-tomorrow movie.

Often times it feels like USH is responding to the terms of a current promotion that negotiated theme park tie-ins over "what the public wants." Until USH learns this they'll continue serving short term goals and missing long term ones.


I love the idea of an Avatar attraction. Although new, it has staying power and was memorable. Come to think of it, there should be a small ( but rotating ) attraction where you can get your pics with memorable movie cars. A moment ago I was just throwing that one out there but now that I think about it, yeah, I'd rather see the A-Team van for a pic. Who cares about neon green drifter cars other than a rare and specialized niche?

From Robert Niles
Posted March 1, 2011 at 3:45 PM
USH's big challenge is to move beyond the Studio Tour. While the Tour provides the heart of the park, and remains a must-see for out-of-town visitors, it's length doesn't draw local, repeat visitors they way that other attractions could.

USH needs to have at least half a dozen rides that locals would want to ride on a frequent basis, plus a couple iconic food items that locals crave. Finally, it needs a social hub, an attractive place to hang out, see and be seen.

Disneyland has all those (Pirates, Mansion, Indy, Splash, Space, Buzz, etc. for rides - Monte Cristo, Bengal BBQ, Mickey bars, etc. for food - and the Castle hub for the hanging out).

Universal falls short (Jurassic Park, Simpsons and maybe Mummy for rides. Then... ? No iconic food. And the best gathering place is in front of the theaters in CityWalk).

Tear down the amphitheater and build a new Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the problem is solved. That'd give Universal its rides (after adding Transformers next year), its iconic food (Butterbeer) and a gathering place (in front of the castle). Let the Hollywood Bowl and Nokia, Greek and Kodak theaters have the concert market (all are within 10 miles).

Universal's the closest park to my house, just 15 minutes away, but I go just once a year (not counting press events). That's not good.

Going back to the original question, I do believe that USH will remain ahead of SeaWorld San Diego, but that's not good enough for this park. It should be aiming to approach Disneyland, or at least California Adventure, not merely staying ahead of SeaWorld.

If Universal can challenge Disney in Florida, it should be able to in California, as well.

From Josh Morgra
Posted March 1, 2011 at 4:15 PM
Ok WOW I got a lot of great responses,but I want to ask somemore questions. First USH dosn't have nearly enoph land to build their on version of WWoHP without destroing many buildings and filming sets.

I think right now in order to do what all you guys have siad,is to buy new land with not much things around it. Then start adding rides from IoA and USF and of course WWoHP.

Right now all they really can do is add good restruants. Do some construction on Stodio Tour after the plublictey from Transfomers have calm down. Then they really need to buy new land not to far from the Los Angales area.

From D.S. Francisco
Posted March 4, 2011 at 10:55 PM
First of all, its good to know the Transformers will not be available until 2012. That saves me money and not buy an annual pass since I have no reason to get one until then. Secondly, they need to get rid of that King Kong 360 3-D ad that is playing in SoCal. It's so stupid!!! My reaction to seeing the attraction is not like what is portrayed in those commericals. Lastly, the only time I will probably enjoy going to USH is for Halloween Horror Nights. Those events are scary but fun and I like it when I worked there and when I visit it as a customer. Time to get those Coke cans to get discount on the tickets. I'll be getting my season pass to Six Flags Magic Mountain instead. At least they will have three (well, at least two and one that is being revamped) new rides.

Why doesn't USH keep some of the stages on the lot and move the rest of the stages and offices to another location instead? It's not like the patrons get to go inside the stages anyway. How about that for a thought? There is still places in the SF Valley where they can move the stages to (or the park). That way, they can expand the park or redesign it so that park patrons don't have to go up that damn hill in order to get into the park.

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