We’re back with another photo update – this time focusing on construction well underway for Halloween Horror Nights, Universal’s progress on their new five-year backlot transformation plan, CityWalk’s ongoing transformation, construction on the plot of Soundstage 28, and some small changes at The Walking Dead Attraction and Baker Street.
Indeed, despite being the summer season, construction at Universal continues to chug along at a prolific rate. Let’s get started.
Park Update Index
Despite Universal’s Lankershim entrance being mostly completed, work continues on the underground tunnel that will connect 10 Universal City Plaza to the studio directly across the building. Work appears to be extensive, and crews show no impending signs of stopping given all the heavy construction occurring around the area.
Regardless of the length of the new tunnel, construction doesn’t appear to be impacting traffic flow across the newly widened road.
While construction crews continue to add some finishing touches on Universal’s revised Lankershim entrance, CityWalk Hollywood continues to undergo its own transformation with the introduction of several new restaurants.
With the exception of a public notice indicating the future sale of alcoholic beverages, Margaritaville has seen little exterior construction since our last update. Voodoo Doughnuts‘ exterior also appears seemingly untouched, while Dongpo Kitchen should be opening very soon based on the venue’s exterior (and interior) progress. Indeed, a new outdoor patio has emerged, revealing new seating, a cement divider and supports that will presumably hold a new sign.
Construction on Universal Cinemas is also well underway, with crews now removing the glass awning that once covered the theater’s entrance plaza.
Finally, a portion of the former Jon Lovitz Comedy Club venue now appears to be used as a Sheriff Sub-station, while Infusion Lounge’s windows continue to be blacked out. CityLoft’s nighttime entertainment district has now been reduced to one venue – Howl at the Moon.
In a surprising move, Universal has added a live singer atop one of the Baker Street facades.
While we weren’t able to snap photos of the singer in action in this update, we did capture some shots of the new audio equipment that has been added to a balcony. Cleverly hidden in the bushes, this new equipment allows the singer to amplify his or her voice above the normal park background audio system. Rest assured – we’ll get a video of the singer soon!
With The Walking Dead Attraction operating into its third official week, wait times have held somewhat steady at around 30 minutes throughout the day.
We’ve also been able to spot some additional rubble near the crash site of the helicopter. While the new pieces certainly help make the crash site more realistic, we still can’t help but notice the exposed show building directly above.
Despite it still being July, construction for Halloween Horror Nights is well underway – and it looks like we might have seven maze locations this year (if one includes The Walking Dead Attraction).
Within the Upper Lot, we have WaterWorld and The Walking Dead Attraction as confirmed maze locations for this year’s event. While The Walking Dead Attraction will simply ramp up its intensity during the Halloween season, WaterWorld’s main queue has been completely blocked off, with guests now queuing next to the theater’s secondary entrance on the right hand side as crews begin to construct a new maze. While construction is in motion, guests waiting for the next show will be held off as the previous show empties through a single exit – a significant disruption for WaterWorld’s show control. Do keep in mind that WaterWorld is also expected to receive a modified queue in early 2017.
Moving to the Lower Lot, Jurassic Park and Revenge of the Mummy continue to house two mazes in their respective extended queues.
Finally, the Universal backlot will appear to hold three mazes this year – two behind the Metropolitan sets and one directly in front of Soundstage 747.
As we noted in our previous update, work for Universal’s up-and-coming Secret Life of Pets attraction continues on the former site of Soundstage 28, with crews now unearthing dirt.
With The Secret Life of Pets’ strong performance in the box office, it may not be surprising if we see an announcement for the attraction soon.
With Universal’s 5-year plan now underway, the studio has already begun demolishing portions of the lot.
Back Lot Cafe – which was a studio cafeteria housed next to Transformers: The Ride 3D – has been partially demolished, with crews erecting a new construction walls next to the site.
In addition, construction on Universal’s two newest soundstages continues, with internal bracing being constructed at a feverish pace. We’ll keep an eye out for any further developments!
That does it for this photo update!
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