April 22, 2015 – Despite the fact that Springfield’s official opening is fast approaching, Universal continues to work and embark on various construction projects across the park. The highly anticipated Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion notwithstanding, the theme park continues to work on a multitude of projects lining Lankershim Boulevard, Victoria Station’s replacement, the rebrand of Pink’s Hotdogs within the park and some curious work developing alongside Universal’s Animal Actors.
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s begin.
» Lankershim Projects
» Parking Structures
» Park Entrance
» The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
» Universal’s Animal Actors Construction
» Plaza Grill / Pink’s Hotdogs
» Character Shop
Ongoing work for the Lankershim Metro pedestrian bridge is beginning to show signs of progress, with crews fencing off portions of the Lankershim intersection forcing pedestrians and guests to take an alternate path across the street. Sound absorbent curtains have also been placed alongside the Universal City Metro entrance as crews continue to prepare the foundations for the upcoming bridge.
Meanwhile, Universal’s ongoing project to widen the roadway has been chugging along at a healthy pace, revealing a new retaining wall near the hillside along the Hilton. Finally, the site of Fung Lum’s still shows no signs of visible progress, with crews using the plot of land for storage.
All in all, while the Lankershim projects are anything but exciting, it’s assuring nonetheless to see Universal improving Universal City’s infrastructure to handle the anticipated crowds.
On the parking side of things, construction crews are currently focusing on the ramps leading to the parking structure and the newly built elevator structure.
Progress on building additional levels, however, has stalled.
Turning to the entrance of the park, Universal has finally shifted the pile of dirt that used to occupy Universal’s House of Horrors, allowing guests to catch a glimpse of the Globe Theater. While Universal has been silent on Victoria Stations’ replacement, recent members on USHForums.com have reported that the Universal Studios Store expansion is slated to begin soon.
Since our last update, Universal has added trees alongside the hill facing the Studio Tour bridge, secluding the otherwise plain Forbidden Show building from view outside the purview of Hogsmeade.
Rock work has also begun to appear at the base of Hogwarts as crews begin preparing the castle’s facade.
In a curious development, construction walls have begun to line the entrance of Universal’s Animal Actors, suggesting a reworking of the show’s planters. Walls have also begun to surround a planter next to Universal Plaza.
Is this a sign that Universal is planning to expand the pathway?
As we initially reported, Pink’s Hotdogs has finally completed its minimal transition to the more-generic Plaza Grill. The bulk of the building remains the same, with a few changes to signage to reflect Pink’s departures. Most notably, Pink’s iconic neon hotdog has had its text removed from the sign – leaving a painted surface over its place.
The menu has also changed in some respects, with Pink’s branded selections discontinued in favor of Universal’s own in-house names.
Finally, the Lower Lot’s Character Shop has temporarily closed for refurbishment.
In the meantime, guests can still purchase exclusive Despicable Me-themed merchandise from temporary carts in front of the store.
That does it for this update. Please follow Inside Universal for the most 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 Cyrino is 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.