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Universal Studios Hollywood Announces Ambitious 5-Year Plan

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The relationship between the two domestic Universal theme parks was a rocky one for a long time. They were pretty much left to go their own ways. It’s only since Comcast purchased NBC/Universal that the Hollywood and Orlando are getting on the same strategic plan. Right now the plan includes a lot of development for both resorts and, it’s already well underway.

Yesterday, Universal Studios Hollywood revealed the latest additions which, in addition to the Harry Potter land, will include Springfield to the Simpsons Ride, Fast and Furious: Suerpcharged to the Studio Tour, night time tours and the redevelopment of the Upper Lot as a whole. These will roll out over the next five years.

That’s a whole lot of work, but it’s needed in Southern California, which is one of the most competitive tourist markets in the world.

“This is a pivotal time in the history of Universal Studios Hollywood as we build upon our extraordinary success and expand our vision for the future of our world-class destination,” said Larry Kurzweil, President of Universal Studios Hollywood. “This broad investment in our five-year transformation will further strengthen Universal Studios Hollywood as an economic leader, significantly contributing to long-term employment opportunities and tourism throughout L.A.”

At Universal Studios Hollywood the expansion has been underway for a few years. It started in 2012 with the opening of “Transformers: The Ride” and continued in 2013 with  the installation of Universal Plaza, a 37,000 square foot art deco styled piazza. This polygon-shaped entertainment venue sits at the heart of the theme park as a welcoming open air courtyard, architecturally reminiscent of classic Hollywood glamour. Featuring a soaring 70 foot tall tower emblazoned with the word Universal, the venue is large in scope, yet provides a warm and inviting environment to host an array of special events and entertainment.

On April 12, 2014, “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” will open at Universal Studios Hollywood. Based on Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Academy Award and Golden Globe Award-nominated film franchise, and created in collaboration with Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination Entertainment, “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” will resonate with the same endearing qualities and characters that catapulted the franchise to international blockbuster fame.

The footprint for “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land,” however, will serve as a crucial turning point for the theme park, as the adventure represents its first foray into fully expansive themed environments aimed at immersing visitors from the moment they enter the space. From experiencing Gru’s neighborhood to Miss Hattie’s Home for Girls and the imaginative seaside carnival, this all-encompassing approach is a decisive departure from the park’s more commonly used vignette ride exteriors to create holistic experiences and transport guests to that imaginary place.Read More »Universal Studios Hollywood Announces Ambitious 5-Year Plan

Univeral Studios Hollywood Will Go Forward With Expansion, Harry Potter

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I spent most of the 90s visiting Universal Studios Hollywood almost every month. In doing so, I really got to know the tightly packed acreage that made up Southern California’s second most popular themepark. It’s taken some doing, but they’ve finally gotten final approval to go forward with the next stage in the development of Universal Studios.

The first projects of NBCUniversal’s 25-year Evolution Plan with be tied to adding the much anticipated west coast version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The total plan represents a $1.6 billion investment in tourism and production in Southern California. This long-term investment in two industries that are vital to Los Angeles will create more than 30,000 jobs and generate $2 billion of economic activity during operations for the region.Read More »Univeral Studios Hollywood Will Go Forward With Expansion, Harry Potter

Universal Parks Join in Company’s 100th Anniversary Celebration

As a kid, my trips to Southern California always included quality time with family and almost always a trip to Disneyland. But I also looked forward to our visits to Universal Studios Hollywood. Something about the earnest way in which they presented their cheesy product attracted me. But there was also a tremendous collection of film and entertainment history there.

This year Universal is celebrating their 100th Anniversary. That’s a lot of history. Here’s how they plan to observe the centennial at their parks.

Universal’s Parks and Resorts will help highlight Universal’s 100th Anniversary campaign with centennial specific content and merchandise throughout both the Orlando and Hollywood locations. The Orlando resort will soon announce a specially themed entertainment experience that will celebrate Universal’s heritage. In Hollywood, the world-famous Studio Tour features expert guides that will take guests on a tour through 100 years of moviemaking history on the Universal Studios production backlot. Tours are conducted daily, visiting TV and movie sets ranging from the early Universal Studios monster film classics to current productions.

The full press release detailing all the celebrations across Universal, is below the jump:

Read More »Universal Parks Join in Company’s 100th Anniversary Celebration

King Kong attraction Video from Christmas at USH 2002

Back in 2002 Universal Studios Hollywood had the idea to have a Christmas themed event and did up a number of their attractions with a holiday overlay. One of those attractions was the King Kong attraction that was destroyed in the backlot fire today. LaughingPlace.com… Read More »King Kong attraction Video from Christmas at USH 2002

Universal Studios Hollywood Suffers Major fire

Bad news coming from Hollywood and the Los Angeles Valley as one of the major landmarks of the area is in process of burning down. The fire started around 5AM this morning and drew crews from all across the valley. Five buildings currently reported lost… Read More »Universal Studios Hollywood Suffers Major fire