Universal Studios Hollywood: March 2015 Harry Potter and Simpsons Construction Update

March 5, 2015, 7:18 PM · It feels as though we can almost taste the Butterbeer as construction continues on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Entrance to Hogsmeade

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.

Hogsmeade Village construction

The framing of Hogwarts Castle is now complete, too.

Hogwarts Hollywood

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.

Hogwarts has topped out

Next to that entrance arch, we find The Simpsons' hometown of Springfield nearing completion. The Lard Lad has arrived.

Lard Lad Donuts

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.

Springfield construction

Cletus' Chicken Shack is here, too.

More Springfield construction

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.

Intersection of Hogsmeade and Springfield

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.

Universal 'construction' worker

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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Replies (9)

March 6, 2015 at 7:11 AM · Great Update.....
IS this just going to be Hogsmead and I assume not Diagon Alley....

Are you going to attend the Opening day or Media day?

March 6, 2015 at 9:47 AM · 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.

I do appreciate Universal being able to laugh at themselves with a construction worker street performer. I've been telling friends and relatives to stay away from the park this winter and spring because of all the construction. It's a painful process, but I think the results will be well worth it for a park that has needed a makeover for a long time.

March 6, 2015 at 11:49 AM · 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?)

Media invites haven't gone out yet, but Springfield is up next with a planned opening sometime this spring. This summer brings the new nighttime version of the Studio Tour, along with the Fast and Furious encounter on the Studio Tour. We definitely will cover all of those when they open.

March 6, 2015 at 3:22 PM · 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.
March 6, 2015 at 5:43 PM · Hope you Californians enjoy these two great attractions as much as we have here in Florida!
I just love the prospect of Harry Potter living next door to Homer Simpson! XD
March 7, 2015 at 1:18 AM · 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.
March 7, 2015 at 11:57 AM · 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.
Jim Nelson
March 7, 2015 at 6:23 PM · 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?
March 8, 2015 at 8:22 PM · 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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