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Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread


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It can be, but I'd prioritize Forbidden Journey first. The entire Harry Potter area can get slammed very early on, and it tends to remain that way until evening. It does empty out quite a bit in the last few hours before park closing, so that's a great time to go.

 

Studio tour can get long, but the line moves very briskly. Keep an eye out on the wait times on either their app or the mobile site, ushwaittimes.com. It's a pretty accurate overall, and also shows performances times, even of many characters.

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Other than annual passes, no, not much in the way of discounts.

 

I sometimes forget as a local, the tram tour is a must for a first time visitor. It's about 45-60 minutes long, but is a very unique attraction that passes a ton of genuine movie sets that you'll recognize. While the line can get long, it often moves fast, and there are plenty of video monitors to watch while waiting.

Is the tour something I should hit the first showing of?

 

If you purchase your ticket from their website, you can enter the park 1hr early to experience Potter.

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I would recommend going straight to Ollivander's at opening. The shows have a capacity of a dozen or so, very intimate performance. It's very cool, especially if you are a Potter fan. They do one performance right after another all day on that one, so it has a queue like a ride would, and the queue builds quickly. I would then do both the rides in that section. Forbidden Journey has a single rider line, and each car holds 4, so you'll get through fairly quickly as there are bound to be plenty of groups of 3.

 

Even if you're not planning to see shows, at the very least you need to see WaterWorld. It is one of the best theme park shows anywhere, and it may not be around too much longer. Check the schedule, but the first show should be around 10:00 or so. I did Potter and Simpsons and had plenty of time to get to Waterworld.

 

Enjoy--it's a very cool place!

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Good point with Ollivanders. The line does fluctuate a lot during the day, so keep checking back, but in general is can get quite long for the majority of the day. First thing in the morning can be good, as well as late at night, but that's not a guarantee. At the same time, I've seen the line be totally empty and people just walk right in, so keep checking in.

 

Sadly, though Waterworld is currently under refurbishment for the next few months, so you'll probably be missing out on that.

 

One last insider tip... the minimum line for Simpsons is 25 minutes. So if it's in that range, that's actually about as short as it gets, and go for it.

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Is Ollivander's that room with the magic wands? We went in that the last time were there. That's some shrewd marketing! They picked one kid out of the room and gave her a wand which, of course, made all the other kids in the room green with envy. There was a like a 5-minute show where the wand "made stuff happen" — just long enough to send envy levels of the wand-less through the (beautifully themed) roof. Then the show dumps you straight out into a wand shop. If you're a parent, use caution with this attraction or it could get very expensive!

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We are visiting the park in September of this year (Along with Disneyland, and Knotts Berry Farm) for my 40th Birthday party!!!

 

It will be my first time at the park ever!!!!

 

However I am worried that the tram will not be running(?) during this time because of the HHN event. Is this true? I would be really bummed if it wasn't running.

 

We are visiting on Thursday the 28th of September.

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You'll need a whole day if you want to experience everything. There aren't that many attractions, but they're really all worth doing. The tram is the very best; you'll want to set aside a couple of hours for it. The ride itself is 45 minutes, plus whatever amount of time you spend queueing for it. Well worth it in every way. Don't skip the tram.

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Of course, if you do the tour as soon as the park opens, you won't end up waiting long for it.

You can also save plenty of time using single rider lines on rides that have it.

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We are visiting the park in September of this year (Along with Disneyland, and Knotts Berry Farm) for my 40th Birthday party!!!

 

It will be my first time at the park ever!!!!

 

However I am worried that the tram will not be running(?) during this time because of the HHN event. Is this true? I would be really bummed if it wasn't running.

 

We are visiting on Thursday the 28th of September.

 

The tram will be running.

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However I am worried that the tram will not be running(?) during this time because of the HHN event. Is this true? I would be really bummed if it wasn't running.

 

We are visiting on Thursday the 28th of September.

 

The tram continues to run as usual during the daytime hours. You should be fine. The only thing to be aware of is that it does sometimes close about an hour before the park does, as the tour itself takes about an hour.

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Universal Studios Hollywood has sent us a press release announcing the opening of Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville including a live performance by the famous singer himself!

 

The countdown is on to 5 O’Clock as Universal CityWalk toasts the arrival of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant to the destination—the first-ever in California—with an exclusive performance by singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band on Thursday, March 30.

 

Fans can enter to win tickets to Buffett’s invite-only performance on the Margaritaville stage at http://www.citywalkhollywood.com/margaritavillesweeps.

 

 

Margaritaville is more than a restaurant, it’s a state of mind as the spirited new venue brings a seaside retreat to Universal CityWalk that continues to resonate as one of L.A.’s most influential lifestyle centers. Margaritaville is now open, serving lunch and dinner.

 

Margaritaville at Universal CityWalk Hollywood invites guests to escape the everyday as they dine in a casual environment amid palm trees, thatched enclaves, island music and surfboard tables and enjoy hand-crafted cocktails, live music and entertainment and signature dishes such as LandShark Lager Fish & Chips, Jimmy’s Jammin’ Jambalaya ®, Volcano Nachos or a Cheeseburger in Paradise ®.

 

The venue’s expansive 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar located at the center of the restaurant offers a selection of refreshing specialty drinks, including the Who’s to Blame® Margarita or the 5 O’Clock Somewhere boat drink.

 

For over 20 years, Universal CityWalk has boosted the city’s rhythm through a foundation built on providing memorable entertainment experiences. With a series of dramatic enhancements currently underway from new restaurants, shopping experiences and visually-aesthetic design features to its multi-million dollar Universal Cinema renovation, the spotlight shines brightly on CityWalk as it continues to invest in an ambitious revitalization and remain best in class.

 

This significant undertaking coincides with Universal Studios Hollywood’s recent epic transformation in which 75 percent of the world-class theme park was completely reimagined.

 

Introduced in 1993, CityWalk was constructed in collaboration with visionary architect Jon Jerde as the prototypical one-stop leisure destination that redefined the mall of yesteryear as a vibrant multi-sensory outdoor complex. With grand neon signs and larger-than-life decorative sculptures complimenting the diverse offerings, this whimsical street was reflective of L.A.’s eclectic landscape and distinguishing characteristics.

 

More information on Universal CityWalk is available at http://www.CityWalkHollywood.com or at http://www.citywalkhollywood.com/Dine/Casual-Dining/Jimmy-Buffett-s-Margaritaville/. Regular updates can also be found on CityWalk’s Twitter @CityWalkLA, Facebook-Universal CityWalk Hollywood and Instagram @CityWalkLA.

 

Margaritaville is a global brand inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and author, Jimmy Buffett, whose songs evoke a passion for tropical escape and relaxation. Since launching its first restaurant location in Key West, Fla. in 1987, Margaritaville has become America's leading lifestyle escapism brand.

 

Today, Margaritaville features nine destination resorts/hotels across the Southeast United States and Caribbean and eight additional locations in active development; four gaming locations; and more than 60 food and beverage locations including signature concepts such as Margaritaville Restaurant, award-winning JWB Prime Steak and Seafood, 5 o'Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill and LandShark Bar & Grill, among others. More than 15 million travelers every year change their latitude and attitude with a visit to a Margaritaville residential real estate destination, vacation club/vacation home rental, restaurant and full-service AAA Four-Diamond resort.

 

Consumers can also escape everyday through a collection of Margaritaville lifestyle products including apparel for men and women, footwear, frozen concoction makers, home décor and more. Additionally, the brand's food, beverage and spirits lines – including Margaritaville tequilas, rums, LandShark Lager and Island Tea – deliver authentic, tropical escapism to fans around the world. Margaritaville, a state of mind since 1977.

 

Universal Studios Hollywood is The Entertainment Capital of L.A. and includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour. As a leading global entertainment destination, Universal Studios Hollywood delivers highly themed immersive lands that translate to real-life interpretations of iconic movie and television shows. Recent additions include “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” which features a bustling Hogsmeade village and such critically-acclaimed rides as “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and “Flight of the Hippogriff™,” Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor roller coaster. Other immersive lands include “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” as well as “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, located adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons RideTM” and the “The Walking Dead” daytime attraction. The world-renowned Studio Tour is Universal Studios Hollywood’s signature attraction, inviting guests behind-the-scenes of the world’s biggest and busiest movie and television studio where they can also experience such authentic and immersive thrill rides as “Fast & Furious—Supercharged.” The adjacent Universal CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex also includes the all-new multi-million dollar, completely redesigned Universal Cinema, featuring deluxe recliner seating in screening room quality theatres, and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert stage.

1855100138_JimmyBuffett-MargaritavilleatUniversalCityWalk(1).thumb.jpg.3b244df72cde6c117e130b1afdbed071.jpg

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I've heard that Shrek 4D is getting removed to make way for an expansion of Harry Potters Wizarding World, and the Mummy getting the good old VR treatment to coincide with the new movie coming out. Does the fun ever start?

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I've heard that Shrek 4D is getting removed to make way for an expansion of Harry Potters Wizarding World, and the Mummy getting the good old VR treatment to coincide with the new movie coming out. Does the fun ever start?

IT BEGINS

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^ I'd rather have Jason Momoa running next to the train throughout the ride.

 

(Regardless of The New Movie coming out.)

MargaritaVille.jpg.7d6e5162903753d41da8c95dd6e5a086.jpg

And speaking of Jimmy Buffett. Coming to Broadway....

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I've heard that Shrek 4D is getting removed to make way for an expansion of Harry Potters Wizarding World, and the Mummy getting the good old VR treatment to coincide with the new movie coming out. Does the fun ever start?

 

While I've heard Shrek 4D is being removed, very few seem to believe it's for HP expansion. After all, they are using the top of that building for projectors for the presumed castle show, which hasn't even opened yet. So I doubt it's going away as of yet. Most seem to believe it'll be a Kung Fu Panda movie, and that sounds credible. This is also the first I'm hearing of a Mummy VR treatment. I'd hope not, as it'd make the line unbearably slow, and USH seems to care more about their RPH output, so I'd be surprised if that happened.

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Part of the thrill of a dark coaster is not seeing. I haven't been on any VR coasters yet but sounds horrible. I love Revolution. I and while I'm glad they got new trains and no OTSRs I'm not happy about VR. I know you can ride without it but still.

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Hey, I'm heading to USH on June 10, just the one day, w/o a front-of-line pass. What should I do? How should I plan my day out?

 

If you buy your tickets online, you can get into the park 1 hour early. During the early entry, hit up all of the Harry Potter attractions then head to the lower lot. The lower lot is usually dead during the first hour or two, so you should have very short waits for Mummy, Transformers, and Jurassic Park. Then come back to the upper lot and hit the Studio Tour. If the Studio Tour has a long wait, then take a lunch break as the Tour line tends to die down in the afternoon. As far as the shows go, the only must see is Waterworld, but they are all entertaining if you have the time. I would recommend getting to the shows 15-20 min early to get a good seat. There are boards around the park showing wait times and I've found them to be fairly accurate. The park is open from 8am (early entry) to 8pm that day, so you shouldn't have any trouble doing everything in the park. For food, I would recommend Three Broomsticks in Potterland or Krusty Burger in Springfield (Simpsons Land).

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http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-harry-potter-light-show-20170518-htmlstory.html

 

Windswept trees, chirping frogs, scurrying critters and squawking crows echoed throughout the room only to be drowned out by the sweeping overture of orchestral music.

 

The sights and sounds being manipulated in the studio on this day weren’t for a summer blockbuster or drama series. Instead, the work was part of an ambitious light show that Universal Studios Hollywood will debut at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

 

Launching June 23, the new spectacle the Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle coming to the epicenter of Wizarding World will be “in your face,” organizers said.

 

“We really wanted the guests to have that bone-chilling moment and go, ‘Wow, this is something I’ve never experienced before,’” said Stacey Quinealty, the park’s senior manager of audio and visual production. “It’s really spectacular.”

 

For more than a year, a team has been working on the experience. Nighttime Lights is exclusive to Universal Studios Hollywood and will run multiple times a night during its summer run.

 

When the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened last spring, Academy Award-winning composer John Williams — who scored the first three Potter films — led the Los Angeles Philharmonic through some of the music during a splashy ceremony.

 

The display was accompanied by fireworks and a light projection, and the reaction from the media and VIPs led park officials to think about bringing a similar spectacle to guests nightly.

 

“If you think of the series, that soundtrack — particularly the John Williams soundtrack — it’s such a part of the emotional experience,” said Tim Runco, the park’s senior vice president of entertainment. “We spent a lot of time figuring out how to bring that out in a way so that’s it not just playing to you. ‘Immersive’ is really an overused word, but we really did bring people into it.”

 

Imagine this: Night has fallen over Hogsmeade, and guests are sipping Butterbeer and exploring the fictional village conjured by J.K. Rowling in the books. Hogwarts goes dark, and the sounds of the dark forest beckon guests closer to the castle.

 

And then the words Potter fans dreamed of hearing from that famous hat: “There’s nothing I can’t see, so try me on and I will tell you where you ought to be.”

 

The words from the Sorting Hat launch a spectacular five-minute show in which the iconic imagery of the houses of Hogwarts — Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin, for the unaware — takes over the castle and the formidable mountain it rests upon.

 

Williams created the light show’s original arrangement, which is a medley of music pulled from the films. It was conducted by William Ross, who adapted and conducted the score for “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”

 

The arrangement was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road’s legendary Studio One.

 

“People have such a strong connection to this story,” Runco added. “With the music, you don’t want to detract from it, you want to amplify it because it’s so amazing.”

 

The team recorded each instrument individually with a multi-channel system; with eight models of speakers and 3-D projection mapping, guests will experience the show differently depending on where they watch from.

 

To further amplify Williams’ score, the audio will be piped in through a 27.5 surround-sound system. (For comparison’s sake, most movie theaters are 5.1 or 7.1.)

 

“It’s going to give them a sense that they are wrapped by the orchestra, not just watching something at a distance,” Quinealty said. “You’re going to feel all of this live motion.”

 

Added Runco: “The space [will] be alive, with the way it sounds. It’s going to be a magical experience.”

la-1495063617-rew3hoo4at-snap-image.jpg.6c16852d98049359f92d2a66a01019aa.jpg

Universal Studios Hollywood provides a preview of the new spectacle the Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle, coming to the park June 23 with music by John Williams. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

la-1495063824-5z6ozjnnbo-snap-image.thumb.jpg.509336aca703748c04f5b45bb8a1aafc.jpg

A detail of one of the projections for the Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

la-1495063912-ro3enlm0bv-snap-image.thumb.jpg.0ca297f0a1b2036054828c07c8d81f3c.jpg

A different look for the Nighttime Lights spectacle. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

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