Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread

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Re: Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread

Postby Jew » Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:57 am

Some photos from the park today...

-Shrek re-opened, which led to some new views of potter since it's queue is right up against the area.
-House of Horrors is completely gone.
-Detail starting to show on Springfield!
-the escalators down to the lower lot got a new archway and it is no longer called the Starway.
-Production Central received a new facade and a new brickwork plaza...since it is right across from the future land entrance.

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Uhm...it's potter stuff. I have no idea what it is.

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Cletus Chicken Shack beginning to take shape

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New archway for the escalators down to the lower lot

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Moe's! Mmm...beer

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Android Dungeon and Lard Lad Donuts

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New plaza and facade for Production Central

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Wizarding World archway. I guess that's exciting?

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Shrek re-opened with a new entrance/alleyway

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House of Horrors is gone.

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Backside of Potter!

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Closer view of potter you get from the Shrek Queue.
Last edited by Jew on Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:21 pm.
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Re: Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread

Postby Gnome » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:53 pm

So much construction! Might even put DCA's extreme makeover to shame. :P
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Re: Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread

Postby Jew » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:17 pm

^USH is at least decorating the construction walls to kind of fit a theme! :lmao:
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Re: Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread

Postby WFChris » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:32 pm

LA Times article about the ramp re-alignment going on around the park. There is a good graphic showing where the changes are being made if you click the link:

www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-adv-universal-city-ramp-20141221-story.html

A plan to permanently close a major offramp from the Hollywood Freeway to make way for an expansion of Universal Studios is fueling outrage from residents who say it will cut off their community.

The southbound Barham Boulevard exit ramp near Universal City will be shut down — probably in the coming year — as part of NBCUniversal's $1.6-billion project that includes the building of a Harry Potter-themed attraction.

"It's an abomination; a developer was able to confiscate an exit on a state-funded highway for their own personal use," said John Strozdas, a Hollywood Hills resident whose family uses the ramp to get home from the San Fernando Valley.


Neighbors say the closure of the 101 Freeway offramp is just asking too much. The closure will keep drivers on the freeway longer, they say, and lengthen the commutes of thousands who live and work nearby.

With the ramp closed, southbound drivers trying to get off the 101 will have to exit north of Barham at Lankershim Boulevard or drive two miles south to the next offramp at Highland Avenue, a major artery for the Hollywood Bowl that backs up during performances.

NBCUniversal executives insist the planned freeway changes will actually relieve congestion and benefit the neighborhood because guests will be routed in and out of the park and onto the freeway so they don't clog up roadways.

As part of the NBCUniversal Evolution plan — which was approved by both the city and county — a new southbound 101 Freeway onramp would be built on Universal Studios Boulevard, allowing departing park guests to get directly onto the freeway, bypassing the neighborhood.

The California Department of Transportation determined that the Barham offramp had to close. Otherwise cars accelerating from the new onramp and those decelerating to make the Barham exit would create a dangerous stretch of "weaving and merging," according to the project's environmental impact report.

Corinne Verdery, NBCUniversal's chief real estate development officer, said that the Barham offramp closure was an "unfortunate trade-off" and that the studio is funding a third-party study to review alternatives.

"From our company's standpoint, we'd like as many ramps as possible," she said. "We did not want to see the offramp closed."

The new Universal Studios Boulevard onramp is now under construction and expected to open by early 2016, Verdery said. The Barham offramp will close before the new ramp opens. The Barham Boulevard onramp to the southbound 101 Freeway will remain open.

The 25-year expansion plan for the property includes hotels and nearly 2 million square feet of office and production space, as well as a "Fast and Furious" movie-themed ride and "The Simpsons Springfield U.S.A.," a re-creation of the fictional town.

But the biggest draw is expected to be "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter," which will feature a replica of the Hogwarts Castle and other locations from the books and movies. The attraction, which is under construction, is expected to open in 2016.

NBCUniversal executives declined to say how many new visitors are expected. But the company has agreed to spend $100 million in transit and road improvements, including building a new southbound offramp near Campo de Cahuenga, widening Barham Boulevard and widening the Lankershim onramp.

But residents and merchants remain unconvinced that traffic will improve.

"They're just making it more convenient to get to Universal," said Sam Hov, an Allstate insurance agent who works in a strip mall where shop windows are plastered with red-letter signs protesting the closure of the nearby Barham offramp.

Hov said he didn't buy NBCUniversal's argument that removing their visitors from local streets would ease traffic because so many other people drive through the area during rush hour. He still sits in terrible early-morning traffic when commuting from North Hollywood even before the theme park is open, he said.

Next door, at the 161st Street Pizzeria, manager Natalia Gonzalez said she worries her delivery drivers are going to get stuck on the freeway, making them late with orders.

More than 1,500 people have signed an online petition protesting the offramp's closure.

"Isn't it bad enough that after Harry Potter opens, we will have thousands more cars daily to deal with?" one signer wrote.

Still, others who work in the area say something had to be done before the crush of new tourists arrives.

John Gallogly, executive director of Theatre West near the Barham ramps, said traffic on Cahuenga Boulevard during peak theme park hours is "virtually unnavigable."

"It's an impossible situation, and this could be a very good solution," Gallogly said. "It is inconvenient to have to go an extra several blocks to an exit, but by the same token, it would have taken at least that long on busier local roads."
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Re: Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread

Postby Jew » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:43 pm

This is really a no win situation. If you have ever tried to get to the park on a busy day or HHN night, the freeway offramps are a MESS and backed up quite a bit. Cahuenga is always a mess during rush hour times as well partially due to USH guests needing to take Cahuenga to get to the 101 South.

However, having to go around USH to get to Barham is a tough pill to swallow for those who use it to get into Burbank and the community in the hills up there.
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Re: Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:37 am

It is great to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter progressing so quickly. Is there any word yet on if there will be any unique features for this version of the land versus Universal Orlando or Universal Japan?
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Re: Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread

Postby Jew » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:45 pm

^Nothing they have announced.
10827908_10153021458812363_1851563468989180989_o.jpg
This might excite some people...
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Re: Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread

Postby gisco » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:21 am

jedimaster1227 wrote:It is great to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter progressing so quickly. Is there any word yet on if there will be any unique features for this version of the land versus Universal Orlando or Universal Japan?


I actually thought it was going slow. Isn't Japan's opening sooner?

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Re: Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread

Postby Top Thrill Dragster » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:28 am

gisco wrote:
jedimaster1227 wrote:It is great to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter progressing so quickly. Is there any word yet on if there will be any unique features for this version of the land versus Universal Orlando or Universal Japan?


I actually thought it was going slow. Isn't Japan's opening sooner?



Japans Wizarding World opened this past summer.
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Re: Universal Studios Hollywood (USH) Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:50 pm

image.jpg
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!

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