With Universal Studios Hollywood’s five-year transformation now completed, the park has begun refining some of the park’s latest additions.
In this month’s photo update, we’ll be taking a look at CityWalk Hollywood’s ongoing construction projects aimed at revitalizing the entertainment district’s shopping, dining and entertainment offerings. We’ll then be taking you inside the theme park where crews are now focusing on the up-and-coming The Walking Dead Attraction and the entrance plaza. Finally, we’ll be wrapping up with Universal’s ongoing modernization of the Universal backlot.
Without further ado, let’s begin this month’s photo update.
Park Update Index
Before we start our journey inside CityWalk, the newly installed Universal Studios Hollywood sign in front of the E.T. parking structure has received yet another makeover. The theme park logo has now been removed – truncating the height of the modified marquee.
Moving back to CityWalk, Universal’s original entertainment district has also underwent a transformation. New dining and retail locations across the property are slated to open, while others have just recently begun construction. Hard Rock Cafe has added a new video screen facing the entrance of the E.T. parking structure, while Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville has begun to show signs of work since advertisements featuring the new restaurant popped up a few weeks ago on the venue’s windows. In addition, Jillian’s external design flourishes have been removed as crews work to transform the venue into its new Margaritaville theme.
Moving further through CityWalk, walls have gone up around Dongpo Kitchen as the new Chinese restaurant prepares to open sometime this summer. Finally, the pathway surrounding the now defunct Infusion Lounge is now undergoing some construction as crews begin working on the flooring surrounding the former nightclub. As of the time these photos were taken, there has been no indication as to what will replace the former night spot.
Moving to the entrance of the park, Universal continues to add refinements to the entrance plaza.
Since our last update, even more column speakers have been added near the security checkpoints and ticket booths. The monitors that we covered in the previous update are now in use, and while they seem to help navigate crowd flow, some monitors have already begun to show some signs of wear.
Despite Hollywood and Dine’s recent refurbishment, the new dining venue has already seen some small modifications. The new barricades that were installed to separate the dining area from the midway apparently made it difficult for guests to get in and out of the dining area. As a result, construction crews have created additional entry-ways that will allow guests to get through having to snake their way through the rest of the dining tables.
Finally, new potted plants and flower have shown up in front of Hollywood and Dine as well as the rest of Universal Boulevard.
With The Walking Dead Attraction opening this summer, not much seems to be happening on the with the facade on the Baker Street side. However, the one change so far has been the work being done on the side of the show building. Will the attraction’s new marquee be featured on this side of Universal Boulevard?
In other news, while details of the attraction have been scarce, early word is that Universal is looking to officially open the attraction in the early July. Auditions for the new year-round experience will take place on May 5, 2016.
Moving on to smaller news, Super Silly Stuff received a new addition to the store. The Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem gift shop now features a new section dubbed Bake My Day, which is the based off of the bakery shop from Illumination Entertainment’s blockbuster film Despicable Me 2. The new food venue offers a select number of fudges and candied apples. Along with the new goodies, Universal has also relocated the store’s existing jelly bean dispensers directly behind the refrigerator casing.
A few updates back, we brought you photos of the new cell antennas that were being installed on the exterior of Universal’s Animal Actors. Universal has now installed a faux wall to hide the antenna equipment, which will help keep it out of the sight lines for guests.
Speaking of sight lines, right before the grand opening celebration of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal made a last ditch effort to help with the sight lines with a few last-minute modifications. However, despite the land’s modifications, portions of the panels above the greenhouse queue still have rust on them while other portions do not. Are these uneven panels intentional, or will Universal continue to work on painting and theming the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey show building?.
As we’ve been following the construction markers on the plot and surrounding area of Soundstage 28, additional work continues to happen. Part of the extended Transformers extended queue has now been torn down, with construction trailers now in its place. Is this a sign of impending construction for Universal’s up-and-coming Secret Life of Pets attraction?
As we come to our final portion for this photo update, we take you to the backlot where work continues to progress on new studio infrastructure. Perhaps once this project is done, we will begin to see new developments occur on the Universal backlot.
Though the park has just finished its five-year transformation project, Universal continues to work on numerous projects across the property. Please continue to follow Inside Universal as bring you the most up-to-date coverage of all things Universal Studios Hollywood.
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