November 6, 2013 – We’re back with another photo update from Universal Studios Hollywood, and let me say this: the park is in a rough state. With Halloween Horror Nights 2013 fading into the distance, and Grinchmas/Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem fast approaching, the park is currently in construction over-drive.
Anyhow, we’ll let the photos do the talking.
Parking structure construction aside, there’s not much happening here that’s really worth mentioning. Since we’re in the middle of the off-season, the park might take this opportunity to fix and refurbish any fixtures that might need attention.
So, uhm, here’s the current progress of the parking lot expansion.
Doing some fixin’. Preparation for a Santa Claus photo opportunity perhaps?
Surprisingly, Finlays appears to be out of commission only after a few weeks of operation, while Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem marches on. With Gru’s neighborhood taking shape (especially the very cute recreation of Miss Hattie’s Home for Girls), I think it’s fair to say that Hollywood is finally not getting the short end of the facade-stick (take that, Orlando!).
Didn’t they just open this?
Sneak peek inside.
Despicable Me is looking good.
Miss Hattie’s Home for Girls is turning out nicely…
…as is the rest of the neighborhood.
Anyone else a fan of Mr. Bean?
It may be hard to see, but they’ve painted the entire building (including the silver accents) blue. Maybe they’ll pull a card from Vector and attempt to hide the show building with painted clouds.
Suffice to say, there are now very few continuous paths on the Upper Lot. The walkway from International Cafe to Despicable Me is currently closed as Universal works to repave the road, and the Parisian Courtyard is still out of commission while the park dismantles El Cucuy.
Work continues on the former site of the Gibson Amphitheater alongside the “new” entrance for the Studio Tour. Oh, and did we mention the restrooms?
Hey look, it’s the Studio Tour Our.
This will take some getting used to.
This might change very soon.
There’s probably a good reason why they’re unmounting that speaker on the left-hand side of the Studio Tour arch. Looks like they’ve moved the Universal globe as well.
Meanwhile, over at Bathroom: The Ride – 3D…
…they’ve promised to make things “wetter than ever” in preparation for the summer season.
Heading in a bit further, we have the Studio Tour’s new arch (be sure to take note of the relocated globe). Personally speaking, I’m a fan of the boxy look.
The former site of the Gibson Amphitheater.
A quick glance over at the restrooms.
As Grinchmas ramps up, Universal has already begun constructing the tree within Universal Plaza. Now that they have Universal Plaza at their disposal, it’ll be interesting to see how they utilize the space for this year’s event. We’re hearing some rumblings about the tree lighting ceremony not making an appearance at this year’s event, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see to get any confirmation.
…and finally, here’s Shrek 4D’s new facade. It’s not the best looking design in the world, but in the end – what can you do? Here’s hoping this isn’t a permanent change.
That’s a wrap! Stay with Inside Universal for continuing coverage on the recent developments at Universal Studios Hollywood – including the festivities for Grinchmas 2013. For now, thanks for reading and we’ll see you in the next update.
Photos by Chris Lord, captions by Jon Fu.
Chris Lord is a contributing editor for Inside Universal.
From his first visit to Universal in 1986 with the original attractions such as A-Team, Battlestar Galactica, and King Kong, Chris admired Universal for its experience of “Riding the Movies.” He eventually became an employee of Universal Studios Hollywood in 1998 for the second Halloween Horror Nights event and then went on to become an attraction host for show control and a ride operator for Back to the Future and Terminator 2:3D. Chris eventually left Universal to pursue a new career in commercial aviation. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.