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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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It seems like everything at Universal parks involve trams!

I'm going to start calling them

Tram Park- Hollywood

Tram Park- Orlando.

 

But, I love Universal. Probably my favorite theme parks.

 

Only Hollywood has the Studio Tour tram.

Orlando used to have one but they stopped operations for that in 1995.

 

I'm really excited to see all this coming to Hollywood. I kinda knew Springfield was coming to Hollywood after seeing it's success here. I really want to visit the Cali park one day. Sounds like a good time. I hope we can get a F&F attraction in Orlando someday. Maybe something like the Radiator Springs Racers ride out in DL. The question is: where would they put it?

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I probably won't go to this park outside of HHN until after WWOHP opens, but when I do, I really feel like this is going to be such a different, more complete experience. I'm really excited about the future of this park

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Universal closed the Tokyo Drift portion of the Studio Tour in June or July of 2013. The rumor is that the producers of the new Fast and Furious movies were not happy with how the franchise was being portrayed and demanded Universal to close the attraction.

 

The dancing cars were a bit average, although I guess it was intended to be mostly a demonstration of the robotic arms. A "tunnel" ride seems a much better fit for the franchise.

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The producers of the F&F franchise ---- made clear last July they were unhappy with the attraction and had it closed down(I'm assuming they had the contractual advantage). USH would have kept spinning plates otherwise.(I only saw it on video, that shit was bad folks!)

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Having been to US Orlando a few years back on two off-days with two free park-hopper tickets, it's kind of a buzzkill to be back here in California with the inferior park and having to pay to get in. The value of the park-hopper ticket on an off-day in Orlando was literally insane back in 2010 and probably still is (although the attendance is likely consistently higher year-round thanks to Potter). You get the best dark ride in the world at the time (Spiderman), the best log flume ride in the world (Dudley Do Right), the wettest rapids ride imaginable (Popeye), killer rollercoasters including relatively unique ones like Dueling Dragons and Rip Ride Rock-It, the best indoor rollercoaster in the world (the Mummy) and other insanely great stuff like the Terminator show, Men In Black Ride, Simpsons, etc. Having worked at Disney in the short time that I lived in Orlando, I can say there's no doubt in my mind that Universal Studios offered twice the content as those four Disney parks for anyone who isn't one of Mickey's brainwashed legion. Honestly, I could count about six great rides at Disney (along with Pirates/Mansion which are good once in awhile) whereas each Universal park alone offers as many good attractions. It was disturbing to hear Disney aficionados say they had never been to Universal because it was "inferior" or that it "wasn't clean"...so, so much more fun and arguably the best overall theme parks in the world.

 

But then we come to the Hollywood version which is kind of the redheaded step child. The tram ride is a unique experience and the crown jewel of the Universal parks, but offers absolutely no re-ridability in the short term. Other than that, you're left with merely a handful of other attractions and in the case of the Mummy they aren't nearly as good as their Florida counterparts. Jurassic Park, for example, is worse at Hollywood because there's fewer big rides than what Universal offers at Islands of Adventure, thus increasing the amount of people wanting to go on it, and therefore, its wait time. It's also worse because the theming is smaller (Jurassic Park at Florida has its own land) and it's out of the way thanks to the lengthy escalator ride. Plus, there's nothing like getting soaked back-to-back-to-back on Popeye/Dudley Do Right/Jurassic Park...it's truly the best run of water rides there is and you get so wet that it eliminates the need to actually go to a real water park.

 

And to charge what they do for the Hollywood park when the park hopper pass at Florida wasn't that much more is insane (keeping in mind that the park-hopper is only useful out of peak season) is just kind of ludicrous. We're going down to the Los Angeles/So Cal area for a week long trip that includes Magic Mountain and camping and I'd spring in a heartbeat for passes if the quality of the Hollywood park was on par with what's in Florida, but it currently isn't. To pay that much to go on a lot of attractions I just went on a few years ago, some of them of inferior quality and without any outdoor rollercoasters (Orlando has four) is just crazy. It doesn't help matters that their big plan is to just copy content that has made a lot of money over in Florida. So we'll get a smaller Springfield due to less space and a Potter world that's also smaller and likely doesn't carry-over the re-themed content (Dueling Dragons coaster, family coaster, etc.). If anything, Universal should be trying to differentiate the parks on either coast. Utilize different properties and create unique experiences. People are going to go to USH regardless, so why not make the content different enough so that people want to go to BOTH destinations? While Disney World is pretty much a rip-off since the bulk of its attractions are spread out over four parks yet can be accessed in just two in California, they at least have had the sense to retire attractions at only one of the Magic Kingdom/Disneyland properties. So one park loses Country Bear Jamboree and the other loses Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. This way eventually, they start to have a lot of different rides/shows.

 

And going off on the Disney thing, it's definitely true. Literally every key ride/show you can think of in Florida is accessible at the California locations. And then there's rides like Dinosaur that are the same layout as Indiana Jones or Everest which is the same theme as Matterhorn, etc. It's strange how many families are swindled into booking an extensive vacation to Disney World when they can attend Tower of Terror, the Muppets Show, Innoventions, Star Tours, the more expensive version of Test Track known as The Cars Ride, etc. all in California with only two ticket charges instead of four. Universal's headed down the same path of pointlessness by just replicating the same things over-and-over.

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I'm kinda disappointed that they're going with another film-based ride instead of one with practical effects. The tour used to be focused on how movies were made, not on watching movies.

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^It was referenced in the original article that was in the post, but the park's official press release did not reference them, so we've amended the thread subtitle. We'll be sure to post any official news of new hotels if it is released.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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^any takers?

 

Heh. I know some people are going to rip into me, especially because there's at least a ton of construction going on at USH at the moment. But I don't consider extra theming that's meant to keep people in the park longer and buy more food/gifts an actual plus (so, to me, all of this Springfield/Potter construction is only going to lead to one new A-ticket ride...the rest is just scenery). That stuff makes for a cool experience, but I'd pretty much walk through all of the Orlando Springfield in twenty minutes and grab a Duff...thus making any return trips for passholders pointless as they'll be underwhelmed by it all after the first visit. If they want to give people more value for their money and, especially, shorten the wait times for rides then they actually need to build more top-tier rides. It's not rocket science. One wonders just how many awesome attractions/rides could have been built instead of spending billions making a replica of Hogwarts...as someone who sat through all eight of those boring movies (ok, the Cuaron one was awesome) and read most of the first unimaginative novel, I could really care less and would simply ride the Harry Potter ride and then leave. Content is key and the rest is window dressing.

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So where are the parking garages going? To me, I always felt that the lot in front of the the main gate is a missed chance to do a mixed use space for parking and retail, if not a small hotel tower. I am glad to see the tram tour go for a night time edition. Having night scenes with the Uni classic Monsters and a lit up Whoville, etc. is a great idea.

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So where are the parking garages going? To me, I always felt that the lot in front of the the main gate is a missed chance to do a mixed use space for parking and retail, if not a small hotel tower. I am glad to see the tram tour go for a night time edition. Having night scenes with the Uni classic Monsters and a lit up Whoville, etc. is a great idea.

 

They recently finished an expansion on the Jarrassic Parking Structure and have started on the new structure in the formor E.T. parking lot.

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And going off on the Disney thing, it's definitely true. Literally every key ride/show you can think of in Florida is accessible at the California locations. And then there's rides like Dinosaur that are the same layout as Indiana Jones or Everest which is the same theme as Matterhorn, etc. It's strange how many families are swindled into booking an extensive vacation to Disney World when they can attend Tower of Terror, the Muppets Show, Innoventions, Star Tours, the more expensive version of Test Track known as The Cars Ride, etc. all in California with only two ticket charges instead of four. Universal's headed down the same path of pointlessness by just replicating the same things over-and-over.

 

Most of your... rant, I totally agree with. Universal is getting a tad obnoxious by just cloning their attractions at one coast or the other. I am excited (ish) about all the new stuff, but, besides being my "home" Universal park, I'd rather save up and make the trek out to Florida for most of this stuff.

 

You then pulled a 180, though. Disney was doing the whole "clone" thing for a while. And still is a little, with Little Mermaid and stuff. However, they are breaking the monotony a bit. I personally have never been to Florida, but if I ever get out there, I look forward to riding Expedition Everest, Test Track, their Mansion/Tower/Space because I know from several sources that they are vastly different.

 

Anyways, I'm sure we can dance the issue to death on Disney, so I'll just leave that as is

 

I certainly hope USH can into its own with these new additions, but it definitely is feeling more than ever like it's trying to save a few dollars with clones from the East Coast

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I certainly hope USH can into its own with these new additions, but it definitely is feeling more than ever like it's trying to save a few dollars with clones from the East Coast

 

I imagine the development (i.e. non-construction) costs of a ride like Transformers would be pretty steep. If Universal need to put it into California, Florida and Singapore to make it worth their while, I'd prefer that to a "cheaper" attraction that's only in one park.

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Yeah, the actual cost of those attractions is insanely high, so they're really only saving money when it comes to the development. The construction is still an enormous undertaking.

 

I'll concede to the point that there's differences in some of the attractions on each coast when it comes to Disney. The Florida Pirates pales in comparison, for example. I agree that they have been branching out quite a bit over in Orlando and the Avatar Land will add yet another truly unique area/set of attractions. Personally, I'll admit to not being a big fan of Disney in general. I attended virtually every show and rode every ride while I worked there (yet only went to each park about three times) and most of the time I was bored out of my skull. Epcot has Test Track and a few things that are great once like Spaceship Earth, the rollercoaster simulator and the movies about various countries. Magic Kingdom has the mountains and Pirates/Mansion. Animal Kingdom has the safari ride, Everest and Dinosaur. Hollywood Studios has the coaster, the tower and the star wars-er. Everything else was pretty much a waste of time and I almost regret not getting in that 15th ride on the Aerosmith roller coaster instead of sitting in the sun through that awful stunt car show. But I'm certainly not part of Disney's key audience and would rather vacation in a national park or sit at home watching foreign films, listening to indie music, etc.

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I read the article and for some reason I don't see the bit about the hotel. Can some help me!

 

No details were given outside of the fact that two 500 room hotels will be built. No location or timeframes given.

 

Also…the whole Orlando vs. California debate is insanely pointless. There's such a small percentage of guests that have actually been to both USH and USF/IoA, it's a moot point from a business point of view.

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I remember hearing that the writers of Fast & Furious rode the current version/portion of the ride/tram tour, and they thought it was so dumb that they demanded something else. Really though...watching videos of it on YouTube shows that they have a valid point. I'm looking forward to see what they can produce. I honestly watch videos of the ride just because the current version makes me laugh every time that "Gasolina" song drops as it is just that stupid.

 

From the description of the new Fast & Furious ride, I have to think it will be a simulator or something similar to the Forbidden Journey robot arm technology. I've never been a big fan of the F&F movies, but a new coaster could certainly warrant my first trip to USF. I've never been to Universal in Hollywood, but it seems that it has made and is making a drastic change - which is very exciting!

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^ Yeah, the producers (not writers) rode the tram tour and were so embarassed by the Tokyo Drift section that they demanded it be immediately shut down that instant. The park complied and shuttered it ASAP. They didn't even let it play out for the rest of the day. It stayed closed until they removed it recently.

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