January 11, 2014 – What a difference a month makes. In less than thirty days, we’ve seen the closure of Doc Brown’s Chicken/Hollywood Cantina and the rise of construction walls in and around Simpsons Plaza. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter also appears to be continuing at a healthy pace while crews work feverishly on Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem and Super Silly Fun Land in preparation for the ride’s April 10 opening.
So with all this in mind, let’s get started.
As Comcast continues its heavy investment in Universal Parks & Resorts, Universal Studios Hollywood has been preparing its infrastructure in anticipation of the Wizarding World. With the relatively quick rise of the Jurassic Park parking expansion already in use, Universal has already begun preparing the E.T. flat parking lot in lieu of a larger, multi-storey structure (“P-3“).
We have also learned that Freeway park (which is across from E.T.) is currently being cleared in favor of additional parking space, as noted by the Evolution Plan as “P-9.”
But for now, here’s a bit of steel for Harry Potter.
I’m sure this means something…
Remains from Doc Brown’s Chicken scattered about.
Meanwhile, they’ve already started prep work for E.T.’s expansion.
Jurassic Parking looking alive and well.
While the parking lot expansions are chugging away, construction work on the Wizarding World has shown some strong external progress since our visit last December. Construction crews are now audible throughout the park as machines dig away at the former site of the Gibson Amphitheater/Curious George playground.
With Doc Brown’s Chicken/Hollywood Cantina having closed earlier this month, the park has wasted no time walling off both establishments from guest access.
Perhaps more surprising is the work currently being performed in front and within the Simpsons Ride’s queue. Walls now stretch from the StarWay to the far right hand side of the ride’s entrance. While the exterior work appears to suggest a carnival-esque facade similar to Florida’s installation of the same ride, the internal queue work is perhaps a bit perplexing. If I had to guess, I’d say the work is being done to prepare additional infrastructure for the carnival games…but again, just a guess.
Doesn’t this remind you of 2008?
“Welcome to a magical journey through my mouth!”
Finally, facade work for Despicable Me appears to be nearing its final state. Universal’s park map has now been updated with a stylized representation of Despicable Me and a note on Super Fun Stuff, the attraction’s new gift shop.
In the meantime, Inside Universal has confirmed that Super Silly Fun Land will have a spinner and a dry and wet playground for young kids. Nothing groundbreaking there, but there had been speculation that the spinner could have been scrapped due to engineering challenges. While anything could occur between now and the ride’s opening, it doesn’t appear as if any major changes are in store that could compromise the mini-land.
That’s a wrap! Please stay with Inside Universal for continuing coverage of these projects and more originating from Universal Studios Hollywood
Photos by Jonathan Green. Captions by Jon Fu.