December 9, 2014 – With Grinchmas now underway, the park will now head into one of the busiest seasons of the year. If you’re a fan who visits the park year round, be prepared for hoards of crowds because the park will be capacity. As always, patience is key!
However, despite the seasonal crowds, Universal continues to push ahead with two major projects nearing completion – Springfield and Fast and Furious: Supercharged – alongside some smaller projects scattered about.
We have another feature-packed update this month, so let’s get started.
» Parking Lot Expansion
» Lankershim Boulevard
» Park Entrance
» Baker Street / Super Silly Fun Land
» The Wizarding World of Harry Potter / Shrek 4D
» Fast and Furious: Supercharged
» Soundstage 28
With P-3 and P-4 parking structures taking shape and occupying much of Universal’s entrance, Universal’s Cahuenga Blvd entrance continues to reroute guests to Curious George and Frankenstein parking structures in the interim period.
While not much has changed since November, Universal continues to focus attention on finishing the first floor of the new P-3 lot.
Lankershim Boulevard continues its expansion to welcome three additional lanes alongside the proposed 500 room hotel that will be built on the former Fung Lum Restaurant location.
Since our last documentation of Lankershim Boulevard, the Sheraton Universal’s sign has been completely fenced off with a temporary tarp placed right in front of it. The Sheraton’s entrance – which had been divided by a center divider – has also been flattened as construction crews continue to transform the stretch of road leading to Universal.
The future site of Universal’s planned hotel remains unchanged for now, with crews continuing to pile dirt over the plot of land.
The center divider alongside Sheraton’s entrance has been removed.
Meanwhile, as the holidays marches on, the entirety of Universal Studios Hollywood has been decked out – Grinchmas style!
Along with the Grinchmas celebration occurring within Universal Plaza, holiday wreaths, garland and crooked Christmas trees have also adorned New York Street, Baker Street, Despicable Me, Super Silly Fun Land and the Lower Lot. It’s quite nice, and the park looks absolutely gorgeous during the day (and especially at night!).
With this year’s Grinchmas event underway, Universal has now held the holiday event in Universal Plaza for the second year in the row.
Offering much of the same activities as last year (including Trim up the Tree Lot and Who-bilicious Cookie Dec-Who-rating) as well as some new features (the Who-ville Post Office), Grinchmas features various small shows scattered across the day, including Story Time with Cindy Lou Who, Martha May Who-vier and the Who Dolls and the Wholiday Singers along with a truncated Tree Lighting Ceremony every thirty minutes during the evening.
Be sure to stay glued to Inside Universal for continuing coverage of this year’s festivities!
As one would expect, Universal Plaza looks quite nice during the holiday season.
Universal’s spectacular 60-foot tree occupying the front end of Plaza.
This year’s event…don’t expect any major deviations from 2013.
One a small note, it’s great to see the Grinchmas facade finally extend all the way to the end of Plaza (in comparison to last year’s abrupt cut off). It’s a small difference, but it makes the event feel more thought-out than it has been in year’s past.
The Whoville backlot show remains largely unchanged.
In a surprisingly delightful move, Universal’s newest attraction – Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem – has been dressed for the holiday season. Along with Baker Street’s usual holiday decor (which in itself has always looked quite pretty), Despicable Me’s facade has been adorned with wreaths and garland. While not elaborate by any means, the holiday overlay is a nice addition to a section of the park that has otherwise been ignored during Terminator 2: 3D’s tenure..
Returning form a brief refurbishment only months after opening, Super Silly Fun Land also looks as fresh as ever with Christmas trees spread across the area alongside Christmas hats on top of every minion. It’s exceedingly cute as you would imagine.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, on the other hand, continues to progress quite rapidly with the removal of scaffolding along the wall facing Shrek 4D, revealing the land’s stone work and snow-capped buildings
With Shrek 4D now undergoing a brief refurbishment, it appears as if Universal may be constructing the show’s long-awaited permanent queue. Will this enhance a show marked by detours and extensive modifications? Here’s hoping.
With Shrek 4D walled off, crews have removed Potter’s scaffolding that once stood alongside the show’s queue.
The entrance to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Crews have begun planting seed alongside Potter’s hill…
…presumably to maintain the integrity of Potter’s foundation.
Don’t expect any themimg here, unfortunately.
While Springfield’s completion is fast approaching, the food court’s facades have seen very little visible work.
As one would expect, much of the current focus has been concentrated inside the buildings alongside the patch of Sprignfield currently developing near the exit of the Special Effects Stage.
Does anyone read painter’s tape?
While the bulk of the work has been concentrated inside the building, Fast and Furious: Supercharged has seen some minor work towards the end of the building.
Other than that, not much has changed – at least externally. We’ll continue to monitor the area for any progress, but be sure to read our Fast and Furious predictions in the meantime for an idea of what this tour animation could eventually entail.
Since Soundstage 28’s demolition earlier this year, not much has occurred on the plot of land.
While construction equipment still remains on site, much of the land has already been flattened – waiting for future development. Will Soundstage 28 house a future attraction, or will it be the new entryway to a possible Lower Lot expansion? We’ll just have to wait and see…
That does it for this update. Please continue to follow Inside Universal’s coverage of all things Universal Studios Hollywood and be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Thank you 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.