February 24, 2015 – We’re back with another update from Universal Studios Hollywood, this time detailing the park’s ongoing work on Springfield, the Psycho House restoration project, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Fast and Furious: Supercharged, the Studio Tour and more!Indeed, with Springfield and Fast and Furious on the horizon, the theme park is truly bustling with activity. Let’s get started.
» Lankershim Projects
» Victoria Station
» The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
» Fast and Furious: Supercharged
» Jurassic Park: The Ride
» Psycho House
» Parking Structures
» New Studio Tour Tram
While Springfield and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter have seen extensive exterior progress in the past few weeks, the Universal City pedestrian bridge, the planned 500 room hotel and the ongoing Lankershim lane-widening project have seen seemingly little progress since our last update.
While we’re careful not to dismiss the progress that has occurred thus far, we will note that 2016 completion date for the bridge and lane widening project has probably allowed crews to work at a standard pace. Still, when completed, all three projects will bring substantial changes to Universal’s Lankershim entrance, changing how guests get to (and hopefully stay at) Universal City.
Extensive work continues on Lankershim on both lanes (with Fung Lum at the distance).
Construction crews continuing to work on clearing dirt alongside the Sheraton and Hilton hotels.
Meanwhile, Universal hasn’t touched the Fung Lum site.
The Lankershim lane widening project continues on either side.
Heading down the hill, the new Metro pedestrian bridge appears to be taking hold.
Heading into the park, crews continue to hammer away at the new shopping, entertainment and dining venue, which is widely expected to open before the completion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. While much of the plot of land continues to host a plot of dirt, forest-themed construction walls surrounding the project have extended outward – replacing the art-deco themed walls that had occupied the area before.
Whatever the final result will be, the new multi-use complex is likely to borrow the same art-deco theme that has spread to the entrance of the Studio Tour, Lower Lot and the entirety of Universal Plaza.
New construction walls have protruded outward into the main walkway.
As Springfield gears up to open this Spring, the entirety of Simpsons Plaza has undergone a radical transformation from a simple entrance leading to the Simpsons Ride to an all-out immersive land encompassing classic Simpsons-themed food outlets inspired by the long-running television show.
Indeed, since our last update, crews have continued to add the finishing touches the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant cooling towers alongside some of the signage leading to into the main food court. All this is work is being done to obscure the towering Wizarding World structures directly behind the main facade, which you can briefly see in some of our overhead shots.
With all this substantial work being performed in the past few weeks, let’s dig in to get a more comprehensive look.
In a curious development, signage for Channel 6 Studios has been removed.
Universal has opened up the main Simpsons Plaza pathway during the weekends.
Krusty Burger and Springfield Elementary in the distance.
Compared to its Florida counterpart, Hollywood’s Krusty Burger sign has opted for a different design.
A rusty looking Moe’s alongside the Springfield backdrop
The Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and its cooling towers above.
Cletus’ Chicken Shack.
…and the site of Duff Brewery and Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck next to Special Effects Stage.
Shrek fans rejoice!
With crews working around the clock to integrate Shrek 4D within the larger Wizarding World project, the much-loved 3D show has finally received the first piece of its permanent entrance – the sign! Though reversed (and presumably new) from the attraction’s original entrance, the new sign mimics the tree-esque design that Shrek once held before resorting to flat recreations that were affixed to temporary walls and tents. When completed, Shrek’s entrance and queue will feature a mix of planted trees, aged brickwork and castle-trimmings, allowing the show to settle into some sense of normality after months of constant upheaval and change.
Meanwhile, on the Wizarding World front, crews have continued to add incredible detail to the brick work that permeates Hogsmeade. Heading further into the park, crews have also added additional steel framing to the main Forbidden Journey show building, transforming the cold structure into the instantly recognizable Hogwarts Castle.
Shrek 4D’s permanent sign is back, with the temporary entrance shifting towards the theater.
The main Shrek building continues to receive its finishing touches.
Since our last update, crews have continued to touch up Fast and Furious: Supercharged’s facade, which is now beginning to resemble an abandoned factory warehouse – somewhat apt, considering the structure’s bland exterior. Besides some additional green scenery, much of the work remains focused on the interior – with multiple scenes and effects in store.
If you look closely, you can see start of faux brickwork beginning to wrap around the building.
Additional faux-brickwork wrapping the mega-structure.
Heading to the Lower Lot, Jurassic Park: The Ride is undergoing its yearly routine refurbishment.
While some from our community are hoping for a Jurassic World-inspired refresh, this year’s refurbishment appears to be routine. Though given the rough shape of the ride in recent years, one can hope that this refurbishment may prove to be more extensive than those in years’ past.
In preparation for the new nighttime tours and the theme park’s 50th anniversary, Universal has begun the process of restoring the famous Psycho House.
As you can see, the refurbishment appears to be rather extensive, with crews working to restore and rehabilitate the house and outdoor pathway leading to the Bates Motel.
Chugging along without major fanfare, Universal’s parking structures continue to receive considerable attention on the lot, with crews continuing to construct new levels with each passing month.
When the project reaches completion, Universal will see a considerable increase in parking infrastructure that will sustain the entertainment complex for the next foreseeable decade.
Finally, as Universal noted in its official 50th anniversary plans, the world famous Studio Tour trams are undergoing an extensive refurbishment.
While we were only able to capture the photo below, our members from USHForums.com were able to take a closer look at the new design, which features new seats and a refreshed exterior.
That does it for this update. Please continue to follow Inside Universal for the most consistent, frequent and comprehensive coverage of Universal Studios Hollywood in the industry, and be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more information from the park. Thanks for reading!
Kaley Cyrinois an editor for Inside Universal.
Kaley is a Southern California native who grew up within miles of all the greatest theme parks. As a nursing student, Kaley finds her peace and sanity by visiting Universal Studios whenever she gets the chance. Her dream is to be able to visit Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Japan, and Universal Studios Singapore.
Kaley currently resides in Orange, California. You may reach her at email@example.com.