May 27, 2015 – Universal just got in a big shipment of I-beams, so that means it’s time for a photo update.
It’s an interesting time for construction in the park. Some things look finished, some things look far from being complete. In this update, we’re going to cover Potter, Jurassic World and cranes! So let’s get started.
» Lankershim Projects
» Parking Structures
» Park Entrance
» Jurassic World
» Universal’s House of Horrors
» The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
» Backlot Construction / Fast and Furious
» StarWay Construction
While the pedestrian bridge over Lankershim Blvd connecting the Metro station to the Universal property could be the most interesting project currently going on it is also the slowest progressing. From what we can see here, it appears like a substantial amount of work needs to be done below ground before things can progress above. However with all kinds of municipal pipes, lines or cables running under that intersection it’s understandable crews need to take their time.
The future site of a new Universal hotel still appears to be a staging area for the other nearby projects. At some point that project will progress, but at this point in time it looks like the new hotel is last in priority.
Universal’s new parking structure is looking very impressive as it comes together. While it is still far off from opening, there are some encouraging signs of progress – with a few elements that appear almost finished. Several large bridges that connect the new structure to the existing Curious George parking garage are in place. Their size and proximity to the existing entry way suggest that they are car paths as opposed to pedestrian. There is a curved structure being erected near the entry road that could be more aesthetic then practical.
Across the way from the new structure some pavement work is being done at the drop off area near Buca di Beppo.
Now that the opening of Furious 7 has passed, Universal is getting ready for their next big summer movie release – Jurassic World. And much like the release of the latest Fast & Furious installment, we are seeing signs of Jurassic World in the park and at CityWalk. In front of the AMC Theatre, there is a display featuring a Gyrosphere from the movie.
Some Jurassic World merchandise has made it’s way into Jurassic Outfitters in the Lower Lot. Slight spoiler warning as the toys pictured give away some movie details.
Some very lovely I-beams have started to loom over the entry way of Universal in the former home of House of Horrors. With the structure going up we can assume all the foundation issues surrounding the multi level platform that use to exist have been removed or resolved.
The current structure being erected appears to be about the same height as the surrounding building.
All we do know at this point is that this structure will eventually house a new shopping and dining experience to help round out the entry plaza.
We are still a year away from the completion of Harry Potter’s west coast home, but the park made a step this past week to make Mr. Potter and his guests feel welcome with the opening of a merchandise store inside Feature Presentation. You can read more about the store and see it’s offerings our article here.
As work of the wizard town goes up it also appears to be continuing back. The area of Hogsmeade closest to the entry arch and the existing park looks practically finished. It appears that scaffolding is progressing its way further down the road towards the Hogwarts Castle.
There are trees adorning the once barren hillside that lead down from the Wizarding World to the loading area for the Studio Tour. You might notice that above those trees there is a gap between Hogwarts castle and the town of Hogsmeade. This is presumably where the Flight of the Hippogriff attraction will be located.
As you round the corner past the Bates Motel towards the Psycho house on the Studio Tour there seems to be some major construction going on. It’s possible that this construction – all in an effort to expand the adjacent warehouse.
The exit building to Fast & Furious: Supercharged has been completely covered with an awning. We’ll have to wait to ride the attraction to fully understand this, but it probably has to do with light spilling into the show building.
Looking down from the StarWay to the hillside below, there are some interesting looking tracks running through a dirt path and it looks like some of the foliage has been red flagged. We will keep an eye on things here and update with any changes.
Jonathan Green is a contributing editor for Inside Universal.
Jonathan has been going to Universal for over 25 years, developing a deep passion for the theme park and its historic films. His real passion involves Universal Studios Hollywood’s storied past and how it eventually transformed from a movie studio into a theme park.
You may contact Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org.