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^I may be going there on that Friday, but haven't decided yet. I'll send you a PM with more details.

 

Since you'll be there on a Friday after schools have started, I wouldn't expect it to be too crowded. Even if it is crowded, however, USH is small enough that it can be done in about 6 hours on all but the busiest days.

 

As for a touring plan, I haven't been since Despicable Me Minion Mayhem opened, I don't know how that will affect crowds but would definitely recommend riding that first. After Despicable Me, go to the lower lot and do the three rides down there (order doesn't matter much, but I usually go Transformers, Mummy, Jurassic Park). If you want to re-ride, do so while you're down here, as it is not particularly easy to travel between the upper and lower lot. Note that all three attractions have single rider lines, so even if the regular wait is long you should be able to get on in just a few minutes (I've never waited more than 10 in a USH single rider line).

 

After finishing the Lower Lot, I usually come back up and ride Simpsons Ride (this one is skippable if the line is long, IMO), then either get lunch or do the Studio Tour (depends on the time). Once you've done the tour, you've just got shows left. Waterworld is the only must see show at the park, so do not miss that one. Special Effects Stage and Shrek 4-D are decent, but feel free to skip one or both of those if you want more ride time or aren't into shows. I wouldn't bother with the Animal Actors show unless you've done everything else. Other than that, there's just the Super Silly Fun Land area (complete with a Dumbo-type ride) and that's everything in the park.

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Thanks alot rcdude! That was very helpful! I will be with my 2 friends and their 1 year old daughter, so the Single Rider lines may be the best bet. I definitely want to re-ride transformers so that will help. Maybe we'll see you there.

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Sound Stage 28 (Phantom of The Opera Stage) To Be Demolished For More Theme Park Expansion.

 

 

 

As it upgrades its production facilities and expands its theme park, Universal Studios is planning to demolish Stage 28, one of the oldest on the lot, while preserving a 90-year-old set housed in the space and used in the original 1925 silent film “Phantom of the Opera.”

 

Universal’s plans were unveiled in a newsletter sent to employees last week, but rumors of the soundstage’s removal have spurred a petition drive, with nearly 2,000 signatures urging the studio to save it.

 

The studio, however, said that the “difficult decision” to remove the stage, built in 1924, came down to logistical challenges. For one, noise is an issue, as it is located just next to Universal’s Transformers theme park attraction.

 

“It was determined that the amount of investment needed to upgrade this stage will be better used in the future to bring additional production capabilities to the lot,” Universal said in the newsletter. The area will be cleared to make way for theme park expansion.

Universal said that it was in the midst of a multimillion-dollar preservation effort to save the set from “Phantom of the Opera,” above, and move it to another location. The studio is in discussions with museums and institutions, hoping that it will be accessible for public view wherever it ends up. Universal says that 50% or less of the set is from its original construction, with sections altered from the ’30s to the ’60s.

 

“Initially, we were unsure if the set, with portions that are nearly ninety years old, could be removed and reassembled in a new home,” the studio said in the newsletter. “Now, with the help of a team of expert preservationists, our own archivists, forensics and some amazing 21st century tools like three-dimensional imaging, we have begun the delicate and precise work of ensuring that much of this set becomes accessible and a lasting part of film history.”

 

Stage 28 is not the oldest on the lot. Three buildings — stages 3&4, 5&6 and 16&17 — were constructed in 1916.

 

Studio representatives briefed officials from organizations including the American Film Institute and Hollywood Heritage Museum on their plans, and have contacted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which is planning to create a motion picture museum at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue.

 

Bryan Cooper, president of the Hollywood Heritage Museum, said that their focus has been to save historic studio buildings from demolition, and asked if the stage could be preserved and the set featured as part of the studio tour.

 

But he said that, from his discussions with Universal executives, it came down to an issue of real estate as it remakes its property.

 

“I see both sides of it, honestly,” he said.

 

SEE ALSO: Universal Veers From Superhero Trend for a Monster Plan

 

But he gave Universal credit for making the effort to save the set, a rare surviving set piece from the silent era. “The fact that they are taking the time to find a home for it says a lot,” he said. “They are spending a lot of money to preserve this. They could have easily dismantled it and be done with it.”

 

During the 1970s, studios razed many of their backlot sets, most famously MGM in Culver City, where sets for “Showboat” and the Tarzan movies gave way to residential real estate development. Universal has had reason to save parts of its backlot, as locations for movies like “Psycho” have long been part of the tour, though some facades have been moved to new spots on the lot.

 

Among the movies that also have shot on Universal’s Paris Opera House set are “Dracula,” a 1943 remake of “Phantom,” “Man of a Thousand Faces” and “The Sting.” Rumors of the planned demolition of the soundstage were posted on numerous blogs this week, including Inside Universal and the Studio Tour.

 

The studio said that it is investing $500 million on the lot over the next five years, including the recently opened Tom Brokaw News Center. Its expansion plans for its theme park include a the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, currently under construction and expected to open in 2016.

 

Universal has not announced a date for when the stage will be demolished, as it first will require asbestos removal. It also plans to put the set in storage in the interim.

 

The studio also is making a documentary on the preservation effort, which it says will be “an invaluable tool in helping future historians understand how film sets were constructed, used, and altered during the first six decades of Hollywood filmmaking.”

 

http://variety.com/2014/artisans/news/universal-to-demolish-phantom-of-the-opera-soundstage-but-preserve-silent-films-set-1201292227/

 

what could they fit in that spot for the theme park expansion?

Edited by bostonlva
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Gringott's is part of a larger land. There is not enough room available in that spot even for the ride, let alone the whole land. Unless the raze the whole lower lot of the park (which they aren't doing). What ever replaces it, I can almost guarantee it will not be potter related. JKR would not allow a single HP ride plopped in an area like that, lol.

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On a totally different note... If I were to visit HHN on on one of the nights in Sept or the first weekend in October, should I be spending extra on those Front-of-line passes? Would I have plenty of time to check out the tram tour/all the mazes and hit one or two rides without them? I'm just trying to get an estimate prediction of how bad the lines will be.

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It will be packed. Get there early and take advantage of the early opening to head towards the backlot mazes at 6:30 and you can at least knock out a couple mazes before the lines fill up.

 

The last thing USH needs is another ride with a height requirement. There's already not much to do for kids under 40".

Edited by Jew
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  • 2 weeks later...
On a totally different note... If I were to visit HHN on on one of the nights in Sept or the first weekend in October, should I be spending extra on those Front-of-line passes? Would I have plenty of time to check out the tram tour/all the mazes and hit one or two rides without them? I'm just trying to get an estimate prediction of how bad the lines will be.

 

Just like Jew said, it's gonna be packed. Rides you won't have any problems with, though. Rides don't get lines during HHN. The haunts do. Like, 3+ hour lines. If you wanna risk it, get there before they open the gates and go straight to the back and work your way forward through the haunts. Forget the rides. After you've done the haunts feel free to ride whatever you want.

 

If you wanna do the park at your leisure, get the front of line pass.

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I will be there tomorrow night. Just checked the website, looks like the FOP pass is sold out. Eyegore awards ticket stil available, think I will pass on that. Looks like a busy night ahead indeed. I am hoping they open the gates a tad before 7. Nice that they are open until 2am.

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^ You're insane going on opening night. I wish you luck. With the Eyegore Awards happening that place will be the zoo it normally is times 100 thanks to all the celebrities being present, plus the free concert from Slash.

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The last thing USH needs is another ride with a height requirement. There's already not much to do for kids under 40".

 

Isn't that why they installed Super Silly Fun Land next to Minion Mayhem? Granted, it still doesn't add much, but it's still something!

 

As for Harrypottyland, it's been planned since 2011, so they're gonna squeeze it in somewhere. And with the Gibson Amphitheater being torn down, that will free up a lot of space for at least something Harrypotty-themed.

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As for Harrypottyland, it's been planned since 2011, so they're gonna squeeze it in somewhere. And with the Gibson Amphitheater being torn down, that will free up a lot of space for at least something Harrypotty-themed.

 

Um, considering Hogwarts is 70% built already on the amphitheater site, DUH. Also Hogsmeade is 50%+ built between Shrek and Simpsons. This has been going on for over a year now.

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^ You're insane going on opening night. I wish you luck. With the Eyegore Awards happening that place will be the zoo it normally is times 100 thanks to all the celebrities being present, plus the free concert from Slash.

 

I think you are over-estimating the impact of the eyegore awards. It' not a free concert from Slash---you have to attend the eyegore ceremony (media/invited guests and $50 up charge ticket holders only).

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I will be there tomorrow night. Just checked the website, looks like the FOP pass is sold out. Eyegore awards ticket stil available, think I will pass on that. Looks like a busy night ahead indeed. I am hoping they open the gates a tad before 7. Nice that they are open until 2am.

 

Good luck. My advice is get to the front gate 45min-1hr before 7. Once they do start letting guests in, do the lower lot first as 5 of the 7 mazes are down there.

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If you are an annual pass holder you can enter the park for day operations and take advantage of "first stab" by scanning your HHN ticket and going through security at the Transformers overflow queue---you're held there and given first opportunity to walk to the backlot mazes

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Halloween Horror Nights 2014 - Opening Day Review

 

On Friday, Sept. 19, Theme Park Review was invited to the Opening Night of Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights and the Eyegore Awards.

 

For those unfamiliar, the Eyegore Awards honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the Horror genre of film and television.

 

2014 Award Winners:

Robert Rodriguez: “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” “From Dusk Till Dawn,” “Machette,” “Grindhouse”

Greg Nicotero: Executive Producer and Special Effects Make-Up Supervisor of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”

John Landis: “An American Werewolf in London” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”

SLASH: Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist

 

 

Of course, Halloween Horror Nights continues its reign as one of the premier Halloween events in Southern California. With its incredibly immersive and detailed mazes and its leverage of the most popular horror-based films and television shows, this event continues to stay fresh for its die-hard fans.

 

This year’s event tagline states that Halloween Horror Nights will be “More Dead Than Ever” as it brings together the sickest minds in horror to immerse guests in the living, breathing, three-dimensional world of the most notorious and terrifying creatures in existence.

 

The maze line up:

The Walking Dead: The End of the Line - based on AMC’s award-winning TV series

From Dusk Till Dawn - inspired by Robert Rodriguez’s cult film and TV series

Clowns 3D Music by Slash - featuring an original maze score created by the famed guitarist

Dracula Untold: Reign of Blood - based on Universal Pictures’ upcoming epic action-adveture

AVP: Alien vs. Predator - based on the Twentieth Century Fox film franchise

An American Werewolf in London - based on Universal Pictures’ Academy Award-winning film

Face Off: In the Flesh - based on Syfy’s hit TV series (most anticipated maze of yours truly!)

 

Scare Zone line up:

The Walking Dead: Welcome to Terminus – Make your way through a gauntlet of flesh-hungry walkers

The Purge: Anarchy - a new scare zone inspired by Universal Pictures’ blockbuster thriller

Mask-a-Raid – Hidden amongst the party-goers on French Street are members of a cannibal cult

Dark Christmas – See Krampus, the Christmas Devil and his mythological companions on Baker St.

Skullz – From Native American lore, the Wendigo are malevolent supernatural half-beast creatures have an appetite for human flesh

 

And of course, the world-famous Backlot Studio Tram Tour is hosting Terror Tram: Invaded By The Walking Dead - An all-new, apocalyptic journey through the Walker-infested Universal Backlot.

 

Noticeably absent this year are the cult-classic Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure show, and any other show offerings. In the past, there have been smaller offerings such as Chucky’s Insult Emporium and The Rocky Horror Picture Show Live. With a bit of controversy surrounding the Bill and Ted show last year during the run of the event, we are very sad to see that this beloved offering did not return. For me personally, the show was an event staple and it just “doesn’t feel like HHN without it”. We truly hope that it returns next year.

 

Despite the lack of entertainment, Universal Studio Hollywood has once again created an overall great Halloween event for their guests! We would like to give a heart-felt “Thank You!” to USH and Trana Pittam for hosting us! We look forward to seeing this event continue to grow year after year.

 

And now, we invite you to join us as we take you through Halloween Horror Nights:

 

Photos by Joseph Tagnipes and wrs28330.

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Welcome back to Universal Studios Hollywood for another great season of Halloween Horror Nights!

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TPR is on the red carpet rubbing elbows with the horror elite!

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Sid Haig of House of 1000 Corpses.

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Tara Reid of Sharknado 1 and 2!!!!! ...and some other movies too.

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McKenzie Westmore, host of Syfy's FaceOff. She was a delight to talk to, and she shared the story behind how the maze FaceOff: In the Flesh came to life. A FaceOff fan tweeted both McKenzie and John Murdy, suggesting a maze be brought to life. After tweeting each other back and forth, the fan's idea became a reality!

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FaceOff judges Lois Burwell, Glenn Hetrick, and Ve Neill. Also a true delight! They were very excited to have fans of the show see the best make-ups "in the flesh". They also talked about what big fans of theme parks and haunts they each are. Glenn reminisced of visiting boardwalk haunts back in the 70s and 80s.

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HHN Creative Director John Murdy and the famous Beowulf cane which brings luck on the event's opening night.

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Heading to the lower lot, we first see the Skulls scare zone.

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First maze of the night is American Werewolf in London.

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Some very impressive puppets and animatronics throughout this maze!

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Next up, was Clowns 3D; your typical 3D blacklit maze.

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Such an inviting façade!

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By far the "scariest" thing in the maze.

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After a 1/4 mile walk to the world famous Universal Backlot, we visit the maze which created the most buzz amongst park guests, Alien vs. Predator. A very nice touch for guests without the Gate A passes, they can watch clips from the movie as well as interviews with the cast and crew.

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Gate A plug #1! Seriously, unless you want to wait an hour for each maze... worth every penny!

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I'm Alien, give me some candy!

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Jumping to The Walking Dead: End of the Line maze. Fans of the show loved the amount of park-wide representation.

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We love the large-scale rooms in some of these mazes!

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Back out in the Walking Dead scare zone.

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Next was From Dusk Till Dawn. Basically, the sexy vampire maze.

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These two club owner style characters arguing about how to run the club. It was fun seeing them bringing the story to life even before you get into the maze!

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I'll take 2 please!

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Boo!

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Walking back from the Backlot.

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Only a few hours into the event and already packed!

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Yup, getting more crowded.

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This guy was also bummed about Bill and Ted's. Bogus.

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And now to the Terror Tram! And more Walking Dead.

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On your short journey to the drop off point at the Whoville set, you get plenty of exposition. Not watching the show myself, it was a helpful introduction.

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Wouldn't be a haunt event without chainsaws.

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"Mmmm! Babies is good eatin'."

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Walking through the coolest movie sets will never get old!

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Back on the Upper Lot, we take a tour through French Street.

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...and onto Baker Street. I honestly wasn't holding my breath for this Halloween/Christmas mash-up, but the music and scare actors did an incredible job of bringing this area to life! It was very enjoyable!

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Dracula Untold: Reign of Blood

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"Take the tunnel!"

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One of the "wow" moments of this maze was the incorporation of the exterior courtyard between Baker and French streets. The open air was awesome.

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The Purge: Anarchy scare zone at the front of the park.

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Join the cause! Kill your neighbors? Wait, what? It's my civic duty????

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And lastly, FaceOff: In the Flesh! As a huge fan of the show, I was really excited to see these characters. The only issue with translating these complex make-ups from TV to a theme park is having the looks hold up perfectly through the night. Because the make-up simply wouldn't last, all the scare actors wore masks. As sad as that could have been, I must say that these were the BEST masks I have ever seen. From a few feet away they looked just as good as what I could see in detail on TV.

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FaceOff model before...

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...and after. We love when we are kept entertained while in line!

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The Candy Man

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Mad Hatter DJ

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Zombie White Rabbit.

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Again, a big thank you to USH and Trana for hosting us yet again! We honestly had an incredible time on the red carpet for this event, and so many of the "celebrities" actually took time to talk to those of us all the way at the end of the carpet! Be sure to buy your tickets for the event early, as most nights are anticipated to sell out!

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