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Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread


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I am curious to see what sort of ride system is going to be used. The Orlando version was just an update of Hannah Barbera/Jimmy Neutron. While Despicable Me looks great in Orlando, the ride system itself is pretty old and busted.

 

I can't imagine that Hollywood is going to choose to build that same ride system from scratch? I wonder if we will see a more advanced simulator in Hollywood since they are pretty much starting from the ground up.

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^ Was talking to someone the other day about this who seemed to know quite a bit about the project. I forget what company is building it, but it does sound like they are just building the ride based off the specs of the Florida version.

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Universal's tendency toward fire reminds me of an old Firesign Theatre joke about "Best Actor" Oscar nominees and disaster movies: "Charlton Heston as 'Doghouse Riley' in Universal Pictures' 'The Day Universal Burned Down.'"

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^ Was talking to someone the other day about this who seemed to know quite a bit about the project. I forget what company is building it, but it does sound like they are just building the ride based off the specs of the Florida version.

 

Lol really? They could literally build anything... and they choose to custom build an old and busted ride system from scratch?

 

Ok Universal...

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So Universal Orlando can build Transformers from the ground up in 10 months but Universal Hollywood takes a year and a half to build Despicable Me?

 

I'm guessing USH wasn't interested in closing down the back half of the park (where stuff like their main special events venue & VIP lunch area reside) to accommodate a 24/7 construction schedule...not to mention the differences in building codes and everything else.

 

As far as the ride system is concerned...Transformers is based off of Spiderman, which is now a 20 year old ride design itself...so I don't get what the big deal is.

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^I don't think I was making a "big deal" out of it. I just think that given the option to start from scratch, it is interesting that Universal isn't choosing to build a better simulator.

 

And come on... comparing Spiderman's ride system to the Hanna Barbera one is a bit of a stretch.

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^I think it's a matter of the appropriate ride system for the attraction. If it works in Orlando, why reinvent the wheel for Universal Hollywood?

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^Exactly. There's nothing wrong with adapting old technology and making it new again. New Dark ride or 30 year old motion simulator, all that people will care about is the product itself.

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The fire didn't do anything to 'delay' things- but remember that where Despicable Me is being built, is atop a parking structure, at the end of a couple of fairly narrow walkways from the rest of the park. That adds some unique factors to doing large scale construction. Also, adjacent to the attraction as Joey stated, is the Globe Theater, home to USH's Special Events- many of which are planned out 6 months to a year ahead- they're not gonna close a major revenue stream to build THIS attraction any faster, and they can still PUSH Transformers for at least another full year. 2012 was the biggest year in the park's history, and 2013 looks good so far.

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^Exactly. There's nothing wrong with adapting old technology and making it new again. New Dark ride or 30 year old motion simulator, all that people will care about is the product itself.

 

Generally speaking, too, when building an attraction, they look at the best methods to deliver the story or experience they are looking to share. Sometimes that 30 year old simulator technology IS the best method. Just because its old doesn't mean it doesn't work. Little Mermaid uses the omnimover system which has been around forever, but it was best suited for the space and attraction that Disney wanted to create. I'd imagine that same mentality was applied here.

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I am pleasantly surprised / hopefull about Screamscape's rumor about Orlando's Sprinfield expansion into USH. An actual flat ride, and some of the food locations from the show, sounds like a great addition. Something to look forward too in 2014/15.

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I am pleasantly surprised / hopefull about Screamscape's rumor about Orlando's Sprinfield expansion into USH. An actual flat ride, and some of the food locations from the show, sounds like a great addition. Something to look forward too in 2014/15.

Well, there were reports of some survey markings spotted by the Simpsons Ride. I'll be headed to the park Saturday to get a few pictures of them.

 

At the same time, I've heard odd rumors that the Simpsons Ride would be the next ride to go after Despicable Me opens. Time will tell what those markings lead up to. They could be planting an electric fence to keep the BTTF fanboys out.

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I am pleasantly surprised / hopefull about Screamscape's rumor about Orlando's Sprinfield expansion into USH. An actual flat ride, and some of the food locations from the show, sounds like a great addition. Something to look forward too in 2014/15.

 

Not sure where they would find room for the flat ride and still maintain a seating area for those restaurants, but it would definitely be cool.

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^ Are they still talking about moving the tram plaza somewhere else? Maybe the entrance area to the current tram plaza (before you go down the escalator to the queue area)

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^Right. They just completely re-did the queue layout (to hold more guests) and added restrooms down there. It will definitely be interesting to see how everything fits in.

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Universal will start construction this summer on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

 

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Universal Studios Upgrade Plan Gets OK; Construction On Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Starting This Summer

 

By THE DEADLINE TEAM | Tuesday April 23, 2013 @ 3:16pm PDT

 

The unanimous vote by the LA County Board of Supervisors today ends a seven-year public hearing and environmental approval process that clears the way to begin construction on NBCUniversal‘s 25-year Evolution Plan. Starting in late summer, work will begin on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter themed land at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, as well as on new and upgraded TV production facilities, office space and infrastructure on the Universal Studios lot. The Potter attraction was first announced in 2011 and already has seen success in Universal’s Orlando theme park, which Universal President and COO Ron Meyer has called a game-changer. A Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios Japan was announced last year. Originally, the broader Evolution Plan to build 3,000 apartments and condos and retail space on the studio back lot were scrapped in July, after Yaroslovsky and LA City Council member Tom LaBonge red-flagged the potential environmental impact and potential loss of production jobs. (Universal Studios sits on both LA city and county land; the LA City Council approved the city’s portion of the plan in February.)

 

In total, the plan is expected to create more than 30,000 jobs and generate $2 billion in economic activity, according to NBCU. County supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said the newly forged agreement calls for NBCU to make $100 million in transit improvements, and commit nearly $14 million to jump-start the effort to revitalize the Los Angeles River by “completing key missing links on the LA River bike path”. That includes building a nearly one-acre trailhead park on the studio’s property abutting the river. Here’s NBCU’s release on the deal:

 

UNIVERSAL CITY, California, April 23, 2013 – NBCUniversal announced today plans to begin construction of the first projects of its 25-year Evolution Plan. The Evolution Plan represents a $1.6 billion investment in tourism and production. This long-term investment in two industries that are vital to Los Angeles will create more than 30,000 jobs and generate $2 billion of economic activity during operations for the region.

 

“After nearly a decade of work on the Evolution Plan, today’s vote sets the stage for our next 100 years in Los Angeles,” said Ron Meyer, president and COO of Universal Studios. “We are thankful for the support and leadership we have received from both the County and City of Los Angeles and are ready to get started investing in these important tourism and production projects in the next few months.”

 

Starting in late summer, NBCUniversal will begin construction of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter themed land at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, as well as new and upgraded television production facilities, office space and infrastructure on the Universal Studios lot. These projects represent a nearly $500 million investment in the Los Angeles economy and the creation of more than 2,000 construction jobs alone.

 

“We thank Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, the entire Board of Supervisors, and County staff for providing us the path to bring much needed jobs and investment to Los Angeles,” said Corinne Verdery, Chief Real Estate Development and Planning Officer, NBCUniversal. “The working relationship we have built with the community was invaluable in developing our future plan and we are grateful to our nearly 7,500 supporters and union partners who have been with us every step of the way. We look forward to bringing The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Hollywood, forever changing the face of tourism in Los Angeles.”

 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood will be a fully immersive experience for the entire family designed to bring the Harry Potter fiction and films to life with impeccable detail and authenticity. Similar to the dynamic Universal Orlando Resort themed land that opened in 2010, the Hollywood experience will be faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including Hogwarts castle that will serve as the centerpiece of the impressively themed environment. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a collaboration between Warner Bros. Entertainment and Universal Parks and Resorts.

 

On the Universal Studios lot, NBCUniversal will upgrade existing production facilities and add new capabilities to better respond to the needs of television production. In addition, NBCUniversal is looking to create modern offices that will house everything from post-production services to traditional office space.

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Sounds like lots of exciting things are ahead for USH. They've already started on expanding the Jurassic Parking garage, have the new plaza area coming this summer, and Despicable Me next summer...and that's only the beginning!

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Sounds like lots of exciting things are ahead for USH. They've already started on expanding the Jurassic Parking garage, have the new plaza area coming this summer, and Despicable Me next summer...and that's only the beginning!

 

Best name for a parking garage ever! Jurassic Parking! LOL

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and so it begins...

 

Gibson Amphitheatre To Close In September As Part Of Universal Studios Revamp

 

By THE DEADLINE TEAM | www.deadline.com I Wednesday April 24, 2013 @ 1:01pm PDTTags: Gibson Amphitheatre, Universal Studios

 

Today’s announcement that the Gibson Amphitheatre on the Universal CityWalk is going dark for good puts an end to a 40-year chapter in LA concert history. The former Universal Amphitheatre was rumored to be on the chopping block amid the flurry of redevelopment at Universal Studios that begins in the summer — the venue’s lease agreement is set to expire in September. But the 6,000-plus-seat hall has struggled to consistently book big-name acts amid competition from LA Live’s Nokia Theatre, which opened in 2007, and subscription partner the Greek Theatre; the Gibson’s 2013 schedule is heavy with international acts including Gloria Trevi, Il Volo and Eros Ramazzotti and Lila Downs. A handful of already booked post-September shows — including the 10th anniversary of the Brian Setzer Orchaestra’s annual Christmas Rocks gala — will be rerouted to other venues. Live Nation said its Southern California office will “assemble a very special lineup of shows as a fitting farewell” to the Gibson.

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I love the Gibson but I'm seeing a LOT of bitching on FB about it's closure. I've been to a few shows there the past few years and only 1 band consistently sold out every seat and that was Rush. Paul Simon and YES couldn't even fill 1/2 the venue.

 

You'd think it was the most popular venue in the world the way people are complaining about it closing.

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It is a great sounding venue with no bad seats...just wasn't booking very well with anything other than award shows, international acts, and radio station concerts.

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