It’s a big week for Universal Studios Hollywood with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opening up on April 7. A high amount of construction has been happening all around the property in the last couple of weeks, and much of it has been either completed or is almost done.
Let’s take a look at some of the changes in the week leading up to Wizarding World.
Park Update Index
» Universal Hollywood Drive
» E.T. Parking Structure
» CityWalk Hollywood
» Park Entrance
» Main Entrance Hub
» The Walking Dead Attraction
» The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
» Universal’s Animal Actors
» Special Effects Show
» Studio Backlot
» Revenge of the Mummy
» Soundstage 28
The Lankershim project continues to move forward in an effort to add capacity to Universal’s Lankershim entrance. The pedestrian bridge seems to be nearing completion, with crews putting on the finishing touches in adding new walkways around the bases of the bridge. Construction crews have also been positioning black canopies near the sides of the walkway.
Moving to the hill, crews have continued to plant flowers and succulents – adding new lighting to the recently planted palm trees that line the hill. Pots and various equipment have been placed in the soil in front of the Sheraton and Hilton to prepare the area for its new landscaping. Soon the dirt and grit of the hill’s construction will be a thing of the past as a much prettier and greener street welcomes you to the park.
Moving on to the relatively new E.T. Parking Structure, new palm trees and lighting have been planted on the way up to the new structure. Along with the new trees, a brand new welcome sign has been installed at the entrance to the lot.
In other news, the AMC Theater is currently undergoing construction for a new remodel as part of CityWalk’s ongoing transformation. With art for the future concept on the construction walls in the theater’s lobby, we can see that the renovation seeks to open up the main lobby with a new chandelier. Crews will also be moving the front desk up against the stairs to the right, and the exterior will also receive an update that will add larger windows to brighten up the entrance.
Moving to another venue, Starbucks is finally getting its fencing completed on its new elevated patio area. At this time, the fencing is still being held up with wood blocks and clamp,s but looks to be nearly complete.
Finally, Sparky’s has reopened with a minor remodel and a major change in merchandise. The shop once carried Hello Kitty merchandise, t-shirts, and toys now specializes entirely on chocolates and candies. Along with the candy, you can now purchase gift packages for your loved ones and friends. With an extra display case for chocolate, there are more treats than ever before for you to explore.
At the park’s entrance plaza, new signs have been installed that advise guests on where to go for ticket kiosks or ticket booths. Additionally, monitors have also been added to the plaza, detailing current ticketing prices. Monitors have also been added to the front of the ticket booths, which will flash a numbered window once the team member is ready to help a new customer.
As we enter the main gate, the flooring around the fountain has been touched up and repainted with blue and teal.
While construction continues on the front half of the Universal Studio Store, a new photo opportunity has appeared with Marilyn Monroe and her famous car. A new decal which features a compass-esque paint job has also been added to the shutter gate at the entrance to the shop.
With the opening of The Walking Dead Attraction just a few months away, construction continues on the new year-round maze that is slated to open this summer. While most of the construction is now taking place on the inside of the building, Baker Street’s newest addition features themed signage for the Baker Street Music Hall.
Will the entrance or exit of the new attraction involve the front half of the Universal Studio Store? Time will tell…
With Wizarding World West opening in less than a week, technical rehearsals have concluded until the land’s official opening on April 7.
The mural of trees on the backside of Shrek 4D has been completed, giving depth to the little town of Hogsmeade that was lacking before with the plain white wall. Forbidden Journey’s brickwork near Flight of the Hippogriff is also being touched up as well. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of Forbidden Journey, walls have been painted white above the green house (which may be the site of yet another mural?).
Finally, crews are setting up for the special grand opening ceremony on April 5 featuring John Williams and assorted stars from the Harry Potter film series. A main stage and bandstands have been erected to to prepare for a performance from the L.A. Philharmonic, with lighting towers and sound equipment popping up all around the stage.
In our last photo update, we reported that the exterior of Animal Actors has been receiving some sort of work on its exterior above Production Central. Now, it appears that cell antennas have been added to boost cellular reception inside the park.
In a minor update, the temporary wooden showtimes sign for Special Effects Show has been replaced by a permanent board showcasing the next show time in lights – consistent with the wait boards across the park.
The construction on the backlot that we reported on about a month ago is seeing its first sign of vertical construction. Crews have posted up polls for the impending buildings that will take the place of the former storage facilities for the backlot.
The backside of Revenge of the Mummy shows no signs of construction, but has two trailers lying in wait.
Finally, heading over to the foundation of former Soundstage 28, the area has remained mostly the same. More markings have appeared on the floor, which seems to imply some sort of construction will begin soon.
That does it for this month’s photo update!
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