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