Update: August 12, 2013 – Inside Universal has gotten word that the Flintstones Carnival Section will also be closing after Labor Day weekend. We’ve included the original post detailing the closure of Curious George and the Gibson Amphitheatre below.
April 27, 2013 – As expected, Universal recently announced the impending closure of the Gibson Amphitheatre and the Curious George Playground to make way for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Details are vague, but sources currently tell us that Curious George’s last day of operation will be on September 2, 2013. Gibson’s exact closing date is still unknown, but future shows reserved at the Gibson are expected to be relocated in nearby venues.
The Widzarding World of Harry Potter is still expected to open in 2016 with elements borrowed from the existing themed land already in place at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure.
While Curious George is expected to undergo a complete demolition, the Gibson venue could possibly undergo the same treatment as Transformers: The Ride – 3D, in which the existing structures were modified and further heightened to accommodate the new ride system.
Stay tuned to Inside Universal for continuing coverage as we begin to fully document the Adventures of Curious George and the Gibson Amphitheatre. Full press release is located below.
Universal City, CA, April 23, 2013 – NBCUniversal announced today plans to begin construction of the first projects of its 25-year Evolution Plan. The Evolution Plan represents a $1.6 billion investment in tourism and production. This long-term investment in two industries that are vital to Los Angeles will create more than 30,000 jobs and generate $2 billion of economic activity during operations for the region.
“After nearly a decade of work on the Evolution Plan, today’s vote sets the stage for our next 100 years in Los Angeles,” said Ron Meyer, president and COO of Universal Studios. “We are thankful for the support and leadership we have received from both the County and City of Los Angeles and are ready to get started investing in these important tourism and production projects in the next few months.”
Starting in late summer, NBCUniversal will begin construction of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter themed land at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, as well as new and upgraded television production facilities, office space and infrastructure on the Universal Studios lot. These projects represent a nearly $500 million investment in the Los Angeles economy and the creation of more than 2,000 construction jobs alone.
“We thank Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, the entire Board of Supervisors, and County staff for providing us the path to bring much needed jobs and investment to Los Angeles,” said Corinne Verdery, Chief Real Estate Development and Planning Officer, NBCUniversal. “The working relationship we have built with the community was invaluable in developing our future plan and we are grateful to our nearly 7,500 supporters and union partners who have been with us every step of the way. We look forward to bringing The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Hollywood, forever changing the face of tourism in Los Angeles.”
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood will be a fully immersive experience for the entire family designed to bring the Harry Potter fiction and films to life with impeccable detail and authenticity. Similar to the dynamic Universal Orlando Resort themed land that opened in 2010, the Hollywood experience will be faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including Hogwarts castle that will serve as the centerpiece of the impressively themed environment. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a collaboration between Warner Bros. Entertainment and Universal Parks and Resorts.
On the Universal Studios lot, NBCUniversal will upgrade existing production facilities and add new capabilities to better respond to the needs of television production. In addition, NBCUniversal is looking to create modern offices that will house everything from post-production services to traditional office space.
Jon Fu is the editor-in-chief of Inside Universal.
Jon originally founded InsideUniversal.net in 2006 as a summer hobby aimed at providing families and fans a resource for all things “Universal Studios Hollywood.” Since then, the website has taken him throughout the United States and around the world – including to places like Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Singapore.
Jon currently resides in Santa Cruz, California with his bamboo plant. You can reach him at email@example.com.