We’re back for the next installment of our photo update series with a broad view of the latest projects occurring at Universal Studios Hollywood. In this update, we’ll be looking at the first signs of Grinchmas, Springfield’s newest additions and progress on Universal’s 5-year plan.
So without further ado, let’s begin!
After months of construction, crews have finally completed the tunnel that connects 10 Universal City Plaza to the neighboring film and television studio, allowing pedestrians and golf carts to travel uninhibited underneath Universal’s Lankershim entrance. The surrounding area has also received new shrubbery to help beautify the area.
Moving up the hill, the former Fung Lum location has received a new layer of asphalt and now sits dormant next to the Frankenstein parking structure. This area was designated as the site of a future hotel, per the NBCUniversal Evolution Plan.
In our last update, crews were spotted affixing billboards to the E.T. parking structure. These new movie posters have now been installed, with construction crews also installing posters on the Jurassic Parking structure. If you look closely, you can also spot a promotional poster for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
CityWalk Hollywood’s transformation continues to move forward.
Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville is finally beginning to see some exterior progress, with walls now surrounding the future bar and restaurant. While Voodoo Doughnut still shows no signs of exterior progress, hiring advertisements for the doughnut shop have popped up online. Hopefully we’ll find out when Voodoo will be opening soon.
Lastly, Universal Cinemas continues to receive the bulk of construction at CityWalk, with crews continuing to work on the theater’s facade as workers begin to install a new glass front.
Even though we’re only a couple of weeks into Halloween Horror Nights, Grinchmas has started to creep in. Lights are currently being installed at the main entrance. Close observers can also observe lights on Universal Boulevard, Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, French Street and the Studio Cafe.
A couple of weeks ago, the cast and crew of The Simpsons held their season premiere party at Springfield USA at Universal Studios Hollywood. With that premiere, the land received a few upgrades and changes in preparation for the big Simpsons premier.
As we noted earlier, the Springfield sign received three new static characters, including Lisa Simpson, Nelson Muntz and Ralph Wiggum. As guests walk near the Studio Tour, they can also see Snake Jailbird installed in the second floor jail cell above the Springfield Police Station.
To match their new colorful friends, Chief Wiggum, as well as the Simpsons family in front of the Simpsons Ride, have received a fresh coat of paint. Finally, the Duff archway has been redesigned to match the Duff logo featured in the television series.
Meanwhile, construction on The Secret Life of Pets attraction has yet to begin.
Large mounds of dirt alongside construction trucks are now gone from the former site of Soundstage 28, with new walls now being erected in their place. Perhaps the lack of progress on the Secret Life of Pets can be attributed to the impending demolition of Soundstage 29 and 30.
And just in case if people are still playing Pokemon Go, Universal advises that would-be Pokemon trainers look elsewhere for Pokemon.
Finally, let’s take a look at Universal’s 5-year plan which calls for a modernization of Universal’s famed backlot.
Beginning with the construction of two new soundstages near the metropolitan sets, these facilities will include offices, dressing and make-up rooms along with editing rooms and production offices. These two stages will be used for NBC’s upcoming musical Hairspray Live which will air later this year.
Meanwhile, the plot of land near the Red Sea has begun preparation for its impending demolition for additional studio facilities.
That will conclude this week’s photo update. Construction at the theme park, studio and CityWalk show no signs of slowing down, so be sure to continue to follow Inside Universal for all of the latest updates on Universal Studios Hollywood.
…and while we have your attention, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and be sure to participate in the discussions over at USHForums.com. Sound off below if you have a comment, and we’ll see you in the next update.