It’s time for September’s photo update around Universal Studios Hollywood! This month, we take a look at the setup for the upcoming Halloween Horror Nights, Jurassic Park beginning its transformation to Jurassic World, as well as a glance at the progress of other projects throughout the park.
Let’s get started!
Park Update Index
In a surprise move, Camacho’s Cantina has permanently closed as of September 4. At the time of this update, no further announcements have been made regarding its future replacement.
In other news, Vivo is now open to the public and currently operates on a regular schedule.
The Universal Studio Store located in Universal CityWalk has removed its previous Jurassic World themed exterior in favor of a Halloween Horror Nights design.
The construction walls surrounding the previously-demolished half of Baker Street have been extended farther out into the walkway, completely blocking all traffic both ways on the street. This is a surprise move, given the close proximity of the opening night of Halloween Horror Nights, where The Walking Dead Attraction generally uses Baker Street as its extended queue, though as of this update, we are not sure how long the wall extension will last.
To the public eye, not much has changed at the previous plot of the Globe Theatre. As mentioned earlier, construction walls surrounding the site have been extended, though no other visible changes have occurred.
Immediately following the closing day of Jurassic Park: The Ride, blue construction walls themed to Jurassic World have appeared as construction crews quickly begin work on the ride’s 9-month transformation. As a result, the lagoon has been completely drained, and the noise of construction echoes through the air if one ventures close enough to the walls.
Meanwhile, both Jurassic Café and Jurassic Outfitters currently remain open for business as usual. Without any ride accompanying them, however, they appear rather quiet.
Since our last update, the production vehicles previously occupying the P168 plot have been relocated, with construction vehicles taking their place. Other than that change, alongside the addition of a few more fences surrounding the plot, not much else appears to differ from our previous update. Construction on the Soundstage 28 plot remains stagnant as the opening night of Halloween Horror Nights – including the Stranger Things maze located in Soundstage 29 just next to the plot of 28 – approaches.
Much has changed since our most recent update – the park is now decked with Halloween Horror Nights props and scenery from the very entrance, beginning with the Hell’s Harvest scare zone which depicts a pagan harvest festival. However, many of the more intense props remain cloaked under burlap sacks in an attempt to maintain a more family-friendly atmosphere in the park.
As Universal Boulevard ends and New York Street begins, props shift from the “Hell’s Harvest” theme to the that of the movie Trick r’ Treat. Many of the iconic aspects of the film, including the school bus, ghost scarecrows, and the rules of Halloween themselves make an appearance among the many jack-o-lanterns decking the street. In addition, the famed flame towers have returned, promising a more lively atmosphere in the Trick r’ Treat scare zone than in the previous Hell-o-ween scare zone featured in the same location at last year’s event.
The Monster Masquerade scare zone – located on French Street – has also received many of its props. These include skeletons dressed in period attire to compliment the scare actors dancing, and of course, scaring, their way through the Monster Masquerade ball.
In addition, construction walls have come down around the facade of the Universal Monsters maze located in the Parisian Courtyard, revealing the iconic gothic tower of Frankenstein’s castle as the maze’s centerpiece. Additionally, the gauntlet entrance to the maze has received an iron title card themed to the graveyard guests enter before making their way to Frankenstein’s castle.
Walls have also come down at the Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers maze located in the WaterWorld queue, revealing a large and immersive facade.
Along with the final touches to the interior of the Stranger Things maze, queue preparation and setup is beginning with the appearance of sound walls just in front of the entrance to the soundstage, as well as the removal of the construction walls previously to the left of Transformers: The Ride 3D.
Although the facade remains hidden from public view, signage for the entrance of the Trick r’ Treat maze has gone up just next to the Transformers Supply Vault store, as well as the framing for a banner that will display the mazes located in the Universal backlot. No other visible changes have occurred since our last update from an aerial view of the maze itself.
Although we have not managed to get an up-close look at the mazes located in the Metro sets of the Universal backlot, some setup of the Poltergeist and Horrors of Blumhouse: Chapter 2 mazes, the Holidays in Hell scare zone, and other decorations and details for Halloween Horror Nights are visible even from afar.
Construction and setup for the Terror Tram featuring Hollywood Harry’s Dreadtime Storiez has significantly progressed since our last update, with decorations and props appearing along the path of the Whoville set, through the Bates Motel, and all the way to the end of the War of the Worlds set.
A construction wall matching the original wall engulfing the walkway at the entrance of The Walking Dead Attraction – with the words “no parking” on it – has replaced the previous beige and blank construction wall located there, marking the appearance of an additional theming element in the very much stripped-down exterior queue.
The second “Amity Island Welcomes You” sign by the far end of the Jaws set has been missing for quite some time now with no indication as to whether or not it will return.
After being phased out for a few months’ time, the WaterWorld jet ski launch appears to have returned, though the water skier still remains missing.
That’ll do it for this month’s photo update. Be sure to follow Inside Universal for continuing coverage of Universal Parks and Resorts.