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Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread

P. 119: Super Nintendo World opening February 17th, 2023!

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HP is fine with me. Im not a total fan but Im a fan none the less. I liked what they did in Orlando (however, killing dragons is dangerously close to treason in my book). FJ is a unique ride and Hogsmeade was executed fine. I will admit that they need to add more shops and expand a bit but I still liked it. HP is fine with me, Ill go and see what it is all about... but if any park goes Twilight, Id never go back to that park till it was changed, while trying to stay at least a state away from said park...

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I'm against it for a the following reasons. 1) I did not like the version in Florida. It was small, cramped, and the offerings were disappointing. Forbidden Journey is not even close to my top rides. Too confusing, jerky, and fast-paced. I would take Indiana Jones, Spiderman, or the Haunted Mansion any day. Hollywood being already a small space, I'm sure this problem won't be addressed. 2) I know the park has some dead spots but at least there is a weird variety to it. Having a whole section dedicated to just one movie would be weird for this park. It's not like Disneyland or Islands of Adventure that has distinct lands. The way I see it the park would turn into Harry Potter land and the rest of the park. 3) Just in general, I'm not into this whole trend of dedicating a whole land just to one movie. It started with "a bugs land" then Wizarding World and now Carsland. Something about this idea seems wrong to me for a theme park. If this trend continues I see parks just turning into big movie lands. Maybe that's what theme parks have been with the disguise of lands but at least this way not all spots of creativity are shut out.

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I like the idea of the finished Wizarding World at Universal Studios Hollywood. But during the time where they are demolishing/ constructing this area, there won't be very much to do in the park. And this construction will be going on for multiple years, right? I have a bad feeling Universal will be in for a bad couple of years before Potter opens...but it'll easily pay off in the future.

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^I want to be clear, I don't JUST hate Harry Potter, I hate how adults keep reading young adult fiction and loving it and creating movies and theme parks about it!

 

Anyone see the Simpsons episode about this a couple of weeks ago? It was awesome!

 

Honestly, I've read Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Twilight (only because my (then) 13 y/o daughter wanted to and I needed to make sure it was appropriate).

 

That said, I think "Young Adult" books get a bad rap because of Twilight. Sure, the "target" audience for the books and movies are kids, but there is so much depth in the HP books that they are actual GOOD books. Even ask Steven King.

 

Legoland is built for families and young children, but that doesn't prevent our group of yahoo's from travelling all over the world to get the credits.

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I don't understand how people are getting "guests are ignoring the rest of IOA besides Potter" from.

 

I usually go to Universal during Columbus Day week. In 2008 I spent an afternoon at IOA and pretty much all of the attractions were walk-on besides Dudley, Poseidon and Dragons (which was one train operation). Ground had been broken for Potterland but this doesn't sound too different from years past during the off season. Two years later during the same off season week, Hulk, Poseidon, Jurassic Park and Seuss Trolley were at least 30 minutes and Spidey and Dudley were around an hour during most of the afternoon, plus long lines for IOA institutions like Mythos and the JP Watering Hole' Top Shelf Margarita. Potter had long lines of course, but not significantly worse than the rest of the park.

 

Sure WWOHP is the new standard in the theme park industry but the average park guest still won't pass up a giant awesome green roller coaster or even a margarita on there way to Hogwarts

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I don't understand how people are getting "guests are ignoring the rest of IOA besides Potter" from.

It's not the guests, it's Universal. There is a different vibe to the rest of the park now that Potter has been there. It's almost like the rest of the park has been forgotten about, because it's now the "Harry Potter Theme Park", and the rest of those attractions are all filler.

 

Sure, some areas have gotten love, Seuss and Hulk were recently painted and look good, but our last two visits the operations have been dreadful, and other areas of the park just look "run down."

 

On our last visit during October, we played the "Let's find an open ride game" at the park. We started at the front, and Hulk was open, so that was 1 point, but then heading back towards Potter, Cat in the Hat was down, One Fish Two Fish was down, Forbidden Journey was down, Dragons was running one train each, with a huge line because Potter was down, JP was down, Bluto was down, Ripsaw seemed like it was running 1 boat ever 5 minutes, and finally we made it back to Spider-Man...HOORAY! An open ride with somewhat decent operations!

 

I won't even get into how we also couldn't find an open drink stand to buy a diet coke, since the only open drinks were either right the front of the park, or Potterland (which isn't allowed to sell Coca-Cola products), and ended up having to buy a drink from a gift shop, because there weren't any other open drink stands in the park.

 

in 1999 - 2008, the park was never like this.

 

It's a real shame, because I personally would rank IOA as the "DisneySea of the USA", and after my last few visits, it was starting to feel like Six Flags had taken over operations.

Edited by robbalvey
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that sounds pretty terrible. Hopefully they were maintenance and staffing flukes, not a downward spiral. IOA has always been a pretty awkward park since Universal doesn't own most of the licenses and each island has it's own specific guidelines in that license. One example, I heard they were allowed to put anything R-rated in the Seuss Landing for HHN.

 

In Potter's case, one of my favorite things is when they have all the different team members from the different Islands and attractions waving goodbye as you leave, totally decked in their themed uniforms, while Potter is represented by a member in some bland black uniforms with a crest. Not sure if this is a contract not allowing costumes out of Hogsmeade, but it would have really solidified IOA's theme of all these different stories and characters living in one place.

 

I have faith in Universal since Seuss Landing was one of the reasons Rowling allowed Universal to make WWOHP and she has the power to veto phase 2 or cancel the contract after 10 years for whatever reason, probably including her land being surrounded by a swamp and chipped paint.

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^I want to be clear, I don't JUST hate Harry Potter, I hate how adults keep reading young adult fiction and loving it and creating movies and theme parks about it!

 

Anyone see the Simpsons episode about this a couple of weeks ago? It was awesome!

 

 

That was comedic gold - that was a really good episode. First time that show has produced something decent in the last 4-5 years.

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Robb, have you been back since? I'm curious what to expect out of my visit this January, because IOA has always been my favorite park in Orlando, and from what I've been hearing that might not be the case anymore...

 

I would say that USH has less to lose than IOA did, and with the apace issues I think we'll still see them invest in the lower lot. Unless Potter turns in to a double-level kingdom, but I doubt that.

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I have faith in Universal

I don't.

 

Not only has the place managed to take one of the world's greatest theme parks and neglect it on SO many levels, they've also (while it's still debatable) managed to take the consensus "Best Halloween Theme Park Experience" and overprice and "under-deliver" on it.

 

So yeah, unless they really get their act together, I've pretty much lost faith in the place at this point. And considering the ownership as compared to the other big players in Central Florida, I'm not holding out much hope either.

 

Good luck, Hollywood.

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For those people who say there isn't a lot of room at the park for expansion (Potter or otherwise) This whole area below is able to be expanded on. Some areas would have to be built on top of existing things, like The Simpsons ride is (the tram maintenance area would be one of these areas), but this whole area can be expanded on for the theme park. Its a lot more area then people think.

 

Red is the basic outline of the area.

Blue is the new theater to replace the Gibson.

Yellow is additional expansion of the park depending on the grade of the hill.

 

974505396_UniversalExpansionArea.thumb.jpg.127a03544c6f58a655ba3ed74c45f87b.jpg

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I can't believe someone hasn't made a graphic yet showing IOA Potterkingdom superimposed over USH!

 

Come on, do it!

 

Working on it now but you'd have to kill like half the backlot if you are including Dragon Challenge aka Non Dueling Dragons.

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I have faith in Universal

I don't.

 

Not only has the place managed to take one of the world's greatest theme parks and neglect it on SO many levels, they've also (while it's still debatable) managed to take the consensus "Best Halloween Theme Park Experience" and overprice and "under-deliver" on it.

 

So yeah, unless they really get their act together, I've pretty much lost faith in the place at this point. And considering the ownership as compared to the other big players in Central Florida, I'm not holding out much hope either.

 

Good luck, Hollywood.

 

When I went to IOA this summer, something was off. I don't know what it was; I loved the Wizarding World, the attention to detail, ect. However, the rest of the park seemed as if it was missing a fresh coat of paint or something. This was my first time into the park and I went in expecting the DisneySea of the west yet felt slightly cut short. Maybe it is neglect, maybe it's because I went on a few single rider lines, but being alot of people are saying the former is true, someone in the manager's office better be tossed off his ass immediately. I only settle for the best, especially when the potential is there.

 

As for USH...eh. I wouldn't call them a lost cause, but maybe this will turn them around (if they pull the area off uniquely and without overwhelming the rest of the park).

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This is more what I was thinking as to how it would fit:

 

1355604275_UniversalExpansionArea1.thumb.jpg.7611d2537344381d0eb09ca8cec64ea2.jpg

 

This is the basic idea as to how the area could work over there. The unused red area is just more expansion, but I didn't want to go that far into it, lol. Green are trees to create barriers for sight lines and hiding show buildings.

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Here's a concept.

 

Orange area is Forbidden Journey

Blue area is space for a coaster - I was thinking either a regular large-scale family coaster (Zierer/Intamin drop coaster anyone?) or a smaller scale Battlestar Galactica. A Quidditch theme sounds reasonable for a dueling track ride. For a single track ride, maybe a Horcrux themed ride.

Purple is space for a smaller dark ride - I like that Horcrux boat ride but that seems to fit better with the coaster. maybe a Triwizard Tournament dark ride.

Brown blob is a flat ride - I had an idea for a smaller ride themed to the Whomping Willow. I saw a concept for a ride like that on another forum a few years back.

Black area is gift shops - The area closer to FJ would be the Hogsmeade entrance and the area closer to the coaster would be Diagon Alley.

 

I was also thinking about having Hogsmeade sit toward the back of the park with Forbidden Journey and move the coaster/Diagon Alley section closer to the entrance to fit in a bit more with the books/movies. My idea does seem similar to the plan Coasterfreak came up with.

universal_expansion_area.thumb.jpg.7ace48648c1f4d949db85a42c14ffa96.jpg

Edited by netdvn
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Decided to revise everything to include the studio tour (blue outline)

 

- Bridges have been added over the tram routes (purple lines).

- I moved the flat ride into the corner (white blob with an orange R).

- Everything else is largely the same Red = coaster, orange = Forbidden Journey, yellow square = other dark ride, black = shops.

universal_expansion_area.jpg.9bd183fb971e1d56f391a4bf42339973.jpg

This new screenshot program I got is awesome!

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