We’re back for this month’s Universal Studios Hollywood photo update. In this update, we’ll be taking a look at projects happening all around the resort, including the latest on soundstages 22-25, the new DreamWorks characters, and Halloween Horror Nights.

Without further ado, let’s jump in.

Park Update Index

» CityWalk Hollywood
» New Annual Pass Tickets and Flex Pay
» New Animation Studio Store
» DreamWorks Character Party
» Shrek 4D
» Park Administration Building
» Starway
» Lower Lot
» Halloween Horror Nights
» Fire Station 51
» Red Sea/Park Lake
» A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

CityWalk Hollywood

The transformation of CityWalk Hollywood continues as two new eateries are on their way. Upstairs in CityFood, Poke Bar will be replacing Flame Broiler. While there is no visible construction-taking place on the outside, look for this new option to open later this year.

The other new place opening this summer will be Mini Monster, which will open in the former LUSH location. Mini Monster received its sign and new outside lighting last week.

New Annual Pass Tickets and Flex Pay

Universal Studios Hollywood has introduced a new $179 Silver Annual Pass with over 250 days available. On top of that, Universal now offers Flex Pay for the Platinum, Gold and Silver annual pass. You can find more information about this in our article that came out a few weeks ago.

New Animation Studio Store

The new Animation Studio Store has finally gone vertical. The steel structure is going up and the building will be huge. The scope of the building will be large enough to the point where guests will no longer see Hogwarts Castle from Universal Boulevard once the building is finished.

The new structure will not only house the new store, but will also feature the park’s first family center, security office and mini warehouse. The look and aesthetic will match the Spanish motif of Hollywood & Dine – as well as the new DreamWorks Theatre.

DreamWorks Character Party

The DreamWorks character party debuted on June 30th. Guests can now meet all of their favorite characters inside Universal Plaza. For more photos and video, be sure to check out our coverage here.

Shrek 4D

Shrek 4D will be closing on August 13th; so for those you who love Shrek – be sure to check it out before it closes for good. As was announced a few weeks back the all-new DreamWorks Theatre will be coming to Universal Studios Hollywood next year which will feature a rotating menu of new 4D films, the first being a new adventure starring Po from Kung Fu Panda.

Park Administration Building

The park administration building is in the process of being painted blue. The building that sits directly behind The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has drawn the ire of many fans saying the building sticks out like a sore thumb and takes guests out of the element. While this doesn’t fully solve the problem, it’s a great move by Universal to do whatever is possible to take away as much attention from the administration building.


The massive StarWay project continues to move forward, as the top StarWay is almost complete – and the other three are not that far behind. It wouldn’t surprise us at all to see this completed before Halloween Horror Nights.

Lower Lot

The main reason for the StarWay expansion is that the Lower Lot itself will be seeing its own upgrades and expansion. Earlier this year, stages 22-25 were demolished; and now after months of underground work, the plot has now been paved over with asphalt. Could this be a staging ground for the work that might be taking place soon on the former 28 plot? Time will tell, as the rumors of the Secret Life of Pets attraction still persist.

Halloween Horror Nights

Construction for Horror Nights is under way with mazes in the Mummy and Jurassic Park extended queue furthest along. The Shining will be housed in the Mummy queue while the identity of the one in the Jurassic Park queue has yet to be announced.

Maze construction in the WaterWorld queue should begin within the next few days. Moving to the backlot, the large mounds of dirt that sat by the Metro sets has been moved and tents have now appeared near Soundstage 747 and in the same spot as last years American Horror Story. AHS: Roanoke will be in the same location as last year’s AHS. No announcement has been made for the other IP’s.

Fire Station 51

Fire Station 51 located directly behind the Jurassic Park River Adventure is on the receiving end of additions. The left side of the building has been added on to, which will create more room for a very important department on the property.

Red Sea/Park Lake – Studio Expansion

The large mound of dirt that was placed on the Metro sets has now been moved over to the former Red Sea/Park Lake area. It’ll be interesting to see if the dirt will be used to fill in the lake at some point.

The reason for the construction work is in June 2016 Universal Studios announced a major expansion of their studio facilities that began last year with the two new stages 22 and 23. This new plot will hold ten stages initially and they will add two more if Los Angeles wins the Olympics.

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

Universal has introduced two new items in the park, the first being a new Minion lunchbox. The lunchbox can be purchased for $13.99 with the purchase of a kid’s meal and for $16.99 without a purchase of a kid’s meal.

Secondly, Hollywood has brought the Coca-Cola freestyle souvenir cup to the park. Guests who purchase the cup will receive unlimited refills on the day of purchase. However, if you purchase a freestyle souvenir cup and bring it on a different day, you can receive unlimited refills every other day you visit for an additional $6.99 per day.

That’ll do it for this update! Be sure to follow Inside Universal for continuing coverage of Universal Parks and Resorts!