What's new at Universal Studios Hollywood this summer? Universal's original theme park is the only major park in America to enjoy double-digit percentage attendance growth the past two years, following the 2016 debut of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Can the park keep up the pace as it approaches 10 million visitors a year?
USH last month opened its big new attraction for 2018 — Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor's Quest — but there are other additions to be enjoyed in the park, as well. Today, Universal invited local reporters to sample a few new offerings in the Wizarding World.
The first is Butterbeer ice cream, a hard-pack version of the Orlando favorite that now means the Hollywood park is offering all six versions of the Wizarding World's signature dish. Let's review 'em:
In addition, Universal Studios Hollywood has installed two new interactive spell features. The Aloramora spell opens the locks on the door that Orlando fans would recognize as the gate to the old Dragon Challenge queue. (It's always been just a prop door in Hollywood.)
And there's an Incendio spell to light the chimney of an adjacent Hogsmeade building.
And there’s Incendio, too! pic.twitter.com/9wlZlFtRd2— Theme Park Insider (@ThemePark) July 12, 2018
Earlier this year, Universal added three new meals to the menu at The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade, too. There's also now a talking mirror inside Gladrags Wizarding Wear, for witches and wizards who want a second opinion on whether to buy that Hermione Yule Ball dress or Professor Snape's robes.
Elsewhere in the park, fans have reported seeing height-testing balloons over the site of the long-demolished soundstages next to the Transformers ride on the Lower Lot. That's been tipped as the site for Hollywood's installation of Super Nintendo World and this would be the first sign of movement on that announced project.
Back on the Upper Lot, Universal is now tearing the Globe Theatre, clearing space for... something. Universal hasn't announced anything yet, but feel free to guess.
Universal is moving quickly in tearing down the Globe Theatre. I wonder what the secret new replacement will be? ?? pic.twitter.com/R5O7MBg9E5— Theme Park Insider (@ThemePark) July 12, 2018
Bringing this back around to Kung Fu Panda, it's nice to see an old friend, and his tasty food, return to the park this summer, too.
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