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Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread

P. 117: The Exorcist & Curse of Pandora's Box HHN houses announced!

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3 hours ago, Manic Monte said:

I have to say, well done Universal. I really liked it now that it's actually finished lol

The middle portion is still a little underwhelming (though much improved with the return of the compys, crashed gyrosphere, and the old I-Rex moved to the bottom of the left), but the area at the top of the lift is fantastic with the addition of the new I-Rex. 

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The new IRex is impressive, but why is the whole indoor area so bright?!

The original version with the orange flashing lights, the huge ominous waterfall, and the verbal countdown was just such a classic. I can’t believe they ruined the most epic ride finale just to show off an IRex animatronic while removing all the beautiful animatronics at the beginning of the ride.

 

Hollywood went from having the world’s best to world’s worst Jurassic Park ride. 

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I much prefer the new upper level. The running blue figure and I-Rex in addition to the carry over figures (T-Rex from the ceiling re-skinned as I-Rex and the finale T-Rex that now “saves” you from I-Rex, plus the spitters that used to be on the lower portion) is certainly less suspenseful, but a much better overall show.

If I was in charge, I would have combined the old middle portion with the new upper level with some aesthetic change to match the Jurassic world look and called it a day.

 

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I kind of wish they'd kept the original gates swinging open with the 'Welcome to Jurassic Park/World' moment and the original score kicking in, and put the aquarium as the middle part but I seem to be the only one missing the welcome moment.

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5 hours ago, Garet said:

I kind of wish they'd kept the original gates swinging open with the 'Welcome to Jurassic Park/World' moment and the original score kicking in, and put the aquarium as the middle part but I seem to be the only one missing the welcome moment.

I think the screens look fine, but it’s definitely not the same establishing shot. It’s also a peeve of mine that there’s no screens or effects above you (even a dang shadow gobo light would have worked) even though the mosasaurus goes over you. 
 

without the establishing shot and more “peaceful” dinosaurs, the story progresses too quickly through the stereotypical “it’s a theme park ride, things have to start off good before going terribly wrong.”

TL;DR: everything looks good, the storytelling just falls flat.

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Got to the park today, and have to say, the two new attractions are pretty great.  The new ending of Jurassic World is very impressive.  The cove is still somewhat of a lag, but better than before.

But the big hit is Secret Life of Pets.  While it's no "E" ticket major attraction, it's got to be one of the better "C" ticket dark rides built in a while.  Way better than Disney's Pooh or Monsters, Inc.  And the queue is super immersive.  They did a great job with that one!

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(Disclaimer: This is my first photo TR posted from my phone.  Apologies if something goes weird or is out of place somehow. )

Last Thursday a friend and I had the chance to visit USH for their first official day back open as a park with rides.  Getting a reservation the week prior was a breeze.  In minutes I was all set for my visit during the "AP Bonus Days" that USH decided to put on.  

When I arrived parking, temperature screening and security were all quick and easy.  Moved quickly to the park gates where where I was asked for my AP and the reservation code.  After that I was through the turnstiles and in a CA park open with rides for the first time since February 2020!  Boy was that ever a good feeling.  

Arriving at about 1pm to a park that would close at 6pm doesn't sound like a long time but it was enough to hit up all that was running.  Simpsons and Despicable Me were both closed, presumably because of the CA 15min indoor time limit.  Studio Tour, Jurassic World, Mummy, Transformers, and the new Pets dark ride were all open though, as were most all food and merch locations.  Of course plenty of covid safety protocols were in place.  Temp screening entering CityWalk, social distancing markers in every queue, and hand sanitizer sprayed on every guest's hands before boarding any ride.  None of it was any problem at all.  Overall it was a great first day back now that CA parks are allowed to operate again.  

 

Here are some photos from around the park on its first day back!

 

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After a long wait it's finally time to reopen!  Yay!

 

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I'm 12...

 

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New park policies regarding masks, distancing, where to eat/drink were clearly communicated and easy to follow.  Anyone who's been to Japan should already be familiar with only eating/drinking in areas designated for that!

 

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Distancing markers in queues and signage for foot traffic helped keep things flowing.

 

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I could really get used to this limited capacity!

 

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Oh, hello kitty!

 

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First stop, my first visit to Pottersville in over a year!

 

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Limited capacity and it being a Thursday made for a really comfortable time with hardly anyone milling around.

 

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No line for Butterbeer!  But plenty of markers around for when people do queue up for it.

 

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I even had my *very first* Butterbeer to commemorate the occasion!  It was frozen and wonderful on a warm spring day.

 

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Virtually no wait for Forbidden Journey!

 

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Next we headed over to see the new Secret Life of Pets dark ride.  The former British street has totally been redone as New York City.  It's almost like there was a little Revolutionary War again right here. :D

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The entrance is right across from Despicable Me, making this area poised to be kid-central.

 

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The queue is one of the best Universal has ever put on.  Sooo many AAs to see, such as Buddy pleasuring himself in the kitchen here.

Wait, what?

 

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Life size AAs of the franchise's main characters chat with each other about all the lost puppies, that's us, they see passing by.

 

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The rabbit up above the bed is another working AA.  I honestly can't remember the last time I went through a ride queue with this many AAs!

 

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The ride is perfect for kids and just a great family dark ride.  Of course it also has misters and screens, but it was still very enjoyable whether or not you're familiar with the movies.

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Even for 12 year old me...

 

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Simpsons was down sadly, but how often do you get a chance to take this photo with almost nobody in the way?

 

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Bart was very happy to finally be back!

 

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Studio Tour time!  Couldn't get a photo but the new loading procedures are very well done here.  Guests are directed to a car and row directly out of the main queue as though they were boarding a coaster instead of a tram.  It's quite efficient and prevents congestion nicely.

 

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I loves me some Back to the Future picture cars!

 

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Oh no!  A flash flood!  AAHHHHH!!

 

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SHARK!  SHARK!! SHARK!!!

 

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Overall the Studio Tour looks great for having been closed for a year.  Kong/Earthquake/Fast & Furious all move like they just came out of refurb.  War of the Worlds here looks as freaky as ever. 

 

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The Starway to the Lower Lot provides a nice view of Super Nintendo World coming soon.

 

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Just so great to finally be back in a CA park with rides open!

 

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Splash down after a new encounter with the Indominus Rex.  The new additions really help make this ride feel more complete.

 

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Transformers was running great also.  Maybe I'm just out of practice but it felt like it was bouncing and whipping around with a bit more force.

 

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Many lockers were closed to discourage people from bumping up against each other.

 

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Heading out after a great day!

 

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As a 90s kid who grew up with American Gladiators and Nickelodeon, this view will *always* be recognizable!

 

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What better way to close out the day than at my favorite movie-based eatery? 

 

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OM NOM NOM!!!

 

Awesome first day back at USH.  The park looked great.  Rides ran great.  Employees seemed happy to be back.  I'm definitely looking forward to more visits as life here slowly goes back to normal!

 

 

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Great TR of your visit!

But - if those blue marked lockers are to discourage people from bumping into each other --- WTF is that with six of them all clustered together, and not marked? They could have figured out a better way to do that, honestly. Or just not do it at all.

But no matter - You Were There! And had a great day! Good goin'.

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great pics, and glad you had a good time.

I've never seen Secret Life of Pets.. . would I have *any* clue what was going on in that ride?

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Great Photo TR!!! It brings me back to our pandemic summer when the parks were still super limiting attendance.  Enjoy it while you can!  Oh, and yes, that queue for Secret Life of Pets looks great!

 

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8 minutes ago, bert425 said:

great pics, and glad you had a good time.

I've never seen Secret Life of Pets.. . would I have *any* clue what was going on in that ride?

Thanks!  I've not seen it either, but my take was you're a lost stray puppy and the rest of NYC's pets are trying to help you get adopted.  It was very cute.  My nieces would love it.

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10 hours ago, Nrthwnd said:

Great TR of your visit!

But - if those blue marked lockers are to discourage people from bumping into each other --- WTF is that with six of them all clustered together, and not marked? They could have figured out a better way to do that, honestly. Or just not do it at all.

But no matter - You Were There! And had a great day! Good goin'.

The station won’t issue all 6 lockers in a row. It is like that to ensure everyone who uses the locker goes specifically to that area to keep the rest of the room distanced, but the operators will control it so there’s never any chance of two groups coming back at the same time.

 

Also, anyone who visits look closely at the windows on the street at pets place. There’s a fun callout to the former inhabitant of the street.

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Great report! I haven't been to Universal Hollywood since the Jurassic Park ride was brand new, and I remember the old days when it was just the studio tour (which took a good three hours). 

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25 minutes ago, cfc said:

Great report! I haven't been to Universal Hollywood since the Jurassic Park ride was brand new, and I remember the old days when it was just the studio tour (which took a good three hours). 

Fun fact: the studio tour used to load where Jurassic park is now. It was moved to its current loading location for Jurassic Park to be built.

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^I did not know that--thank you. I remember Prop Plaza, the Battle for Galactica (and getting harassed by a Cylon for wearing a Knott's Berry Farm hat), all that old stuff.

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7 hours ago, cfc said:

^I did not know that--thank you. I remember Prop Plaza, the Battle for Galactica (and getting harassed by a Cylon for wearing a Knott's Berry Farm hat), all that old stuff.

Another fun fact: prop plaza still exists in tact (minus the props of course) and is used frequently as a production base camp for the studio.

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21 hours ago, SharkTums said:

Great Photo TR!!! It brings me back to our pandemic summer when the parks were still super limiting attendance.  Enjoy it while you can!  Oh, and yes, that queue for Secret Life of Pets looks great!

 

 

11 hours ago, Canobie Coaster said:

Great report!  I hope Universal continues to go down this route on future dark rides with some more animatronics.

 

11 hours ago, cfc said:

Great report! I haven't been to Universal Hollywood since the Jurassic Park ride was brand new, and I remember the old days when it was just the studio tour (which took a good three hours). 

 

Thank you all!

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15 hours ago, Jew said:

Fun fact: the studio tour used to load where Jurassic park is now. It was moved to its current loading location for Jurassic Park to be built.

i remember a few places.  at least a couple places near the front somewhere.  when they'd stop and drop you off for the special effects stage, and then again at the prop plaza that chuck mentioned.  i didn't even really know the name.  i just remember it being optional.   then under the escalator by E.T. which I guess where Jurassic Park would get in the way.   

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20 hours ago, coasterlvr said:

i remember a few places.  at least a couple places near the front somewhere.  when they'd stop and drop you off for the special effects stage, and then again at the prop plaza that chuck mentioned.  i didn't even really know the name.  i just remember it being optional.   then under the escalator by E.T. which I guess where Jurassic Park would get in the way.   

Correct. It was moved to the lower lot with  the opening of the starway and ET to make lower lot permanently part of the theme park and not just a studio tour stop.

 

 

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Hi, I have a friend from Arizona who wants to go to USH tomorrow and is curious if they’re checking ID’s or are simply letting people in with tickets a la Magic Mountain. 
 

any guidance is much appreciated:-)

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^ if they aren't a California resident, then she shouldn't try to go, unless Universal has announced that out of State are welcome to visit.

if you're asking for if she can get around it?    well, I dunno if anyone is going to officially tell you to violate park policy.

official web site specifically notes it's still for California residents only, and that reservations must be made:

https://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/web/en/us/plan-your-visit/park-reopening

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^^ It's for California residents ONLY at this time. Period. If she's from Arizona ...... well, isn't it obvious she shouldn't go?

I do not understand why someone would even ask about non-residents getting in, at this time.  Or cheating to get in, too.

 

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