Hi everyone, we’re back with yet another photo update from Universal Studios Hollywood, this time focusing on the ongoing construction occurring on Universal Hollywood Drive, CityWalk, the in-park Universal Studios Store, The Walking Dead Attraction, Halloween Horror Nights and more!
We have a jam-packed photo update for you, so let’s get started.
Park Update Index
While the bulk of work on Universal Hollywood Drive has been completed, construction crews continue to work on the underground tunnel to connect 10 Universal City Plaza to the Universal backlot. Construction appears to be extensive, with mounds of dirt still occupying the side of the hill next to the NBCUniversal tower.
However, while crews focus on the tunnel project, other areas of Universal Hollywood Drive still remain incomplete. An old pathway leading directly to the Universal City Shuttle appears to be obstructed by a palm tree, with a portion completely removed. Meanwhile, the entryway in front of the Universal Sheraton features a crosswalk button that’s installed beyond the reach of the cement sidewalk. Crews appear of be aware of this small oversight, since a hole has appeared in front of the existing installation which will presumably be the location of the new crosswalk button.
Moving inside the property, CityWalk Hollywood continues to undergo a slew of new construction projects aimed at revitalizing the open-air entertainment district.
The former location of Jillian’s Hi-Life continues to undergo interior renovations as the up-coming home of Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, while crews continue to work on Dongpo Kitchen’s new exterior. Voodoo Doughnut’s up-coming location has also been confirmed, with decals advertising a variety of doughnuts posted on the facade of the former Quicksilver store.
Finally, construction continues around CityWalk’s nightlife district, with a slew of work occurring near Howl at the Moon and the former location of the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club.
Moving just beyond the turnstiles of the park, the front half of the Universal Studio Store is now open and unlike initial guess concerning The Walking Dead Attraction, the store has largely remained the same. Universal’s interior art deco theme – which began when the new Universal Studios Store debuted – now runs along the entirety of Universal Boulevard.
With that in mind, there is now a slight discrepancy between the old and new portions of Universal Boulevard. The existing store retains the Universal Studio Store branding, while the new retail section features Universal Studios Store branding. While the park map still represents the area as the Universal Studio Store, the CityWalk equivalent has been rebranded as the Universal Studios Store. Will Universal stick to two store names, or is this a slight oversight?
A minor change has also occurred in the new Starbucks occupying the backhalf of Universal Boulevard. Signage for the coffee-maker has finally appeared in front of the entrance and on the side of the building.
With its opening just a month away, crews have continued to work on The Walking Dead Attraction.
Unlike our previous guess, the entrance of the new year-round maze experience will actually be nestled between Universal Boulevard and the Baker Street facades. The exit, on the other hand, will be located near the Baker Street Music Hall. With that in mind, crews have already begun adding LED fixtures that will illuminate the pathway into the attraction on top of the new structure. Crews have also worked on the support structure that will likely host the attraction’s new signage.
Moving onto Springfield, Universal has continued to tinker with the restaurant exteriors, adding additional references to the famed television series.
On the side of Android’s Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop, Universal has added a decal for Radioactive Man facing the outdoor dining patio. On the opposite side of the street, Luigi’s Pizza and Pasta has a new facade mural featuring a larger logo and Luigi himself. The canopy – which previously hosted Luigi’s logo – now reads “Since 1989” to eliminate the two competing logos.
Despite being June, construction on this year’s Halloween Horror Nights event has already started in the Jurassic Park: The Ride extended queue. The current structure occupies the outdoor queue, with plenty of wood on hand.
With The Exorcist as the only formally announced maze thus far, one has to wonder what John Murdy and crew have in store for the Jurassic Park queue (given that one long-standing maze location has already been taken away).
Heading over to the Lower Lot, Universal has prepared the former site of Soundstage 28 for the new and up-and-coming Secret Life of Pets attraction. Markers and project trailers – as we’ve reported earlier – have lined the area as crews have removed the gate that once separated the theme park and the studio.
Meanwhile, on the Universal backlot, construction on the new soundstages continue with crews preparing the foundation for new structures that will presumably take the place of a few existing soundstages on the Universal lot.
Finally, to conclude, aerostat balloons were spotted at Universal this Saturday as crews took photos of crowds navigating the theme park. These photos will be used to study crowd flow and crowd control.
That’s it for this update.
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