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.
On the left, Louie's Pizza and Pasta has closed.
Meanwhile, construction on the Springfield USA restaurants appears to have reached full height.
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.
And here is what Hogsmeade looks like from the other side, from the Studio Tour exit.
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.
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!
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?
Harry Potter has arrived, people. You don't have to wait another two years.
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