With summer in full swing, Universal Studios Hollywood has begun kicking things into high gear! New restaurants, rides, and even full-blown lands are all on the way and it’s never been a more exciting time to be a theme park fan. Let’s take a look at Jurassic World – The Ride, construction for Halloween Horror Nights and Super Nintendo World, and more in this photo update.
By Tyler Crouch
Before we enter the park, let’s take a look at the progress on the all-new Antojitos restaurant coming to Universal CityWalk later this summer. The new restaurant is taking over the former location of Camacho’s.
Camacho’s once featured a lowered patio area behind a waterfall. We can see now that the waterfall has been removed and the patio has been raised to the same level as the rest of CityWalk. Now guests walking by have a better view of the bar area.
The tile work on the interior has yet to be connected to the hexagonal brickwork that will be on the exterior patio.
To top off the patio, a new marquee has recently been installed.
Fourth of July
For the first time ever, Universal Studios Hollywood celebrated Independence Day with decorations, new outfits for Woody and Winnie Woodpecker, and a fireworks show that took place on the holiday.
At the entrance of the park, red, white, and blue banners were hung on each and every lamp post.
Take a look at Woody and Winnie posing in their brand new outfits.
Even the horses at Six Points Texas on the World-Famous Studio Tour were getting into the holiday spirit.
The fireworks show on the night of July 4 was accompanied by music, lasted about 12 minutes long, and was performed at two separate locations to accommodate guests on the upper and lower lots.
The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash
Progress on the Secret Life of Pets ride opening in 2020 is coming along quickly, with walls now covering the massive structure.
Looking carefully through the green scrim, it’s easy to see the facade is going for a New York City-building vibe with windows etched out of the sides to mimic a stack of apartments.
Jurassic World – The Ride
The Jurassic World section of the park has finally soft-opened to guests. Along with the updated attraction, just about everything else in the area was changed as well.
Guests will be happy to know that Blue the raptor is still out meeting guests, and she’s now in a new and improved paddock at Raptor Encounter.
Along with Blue, two other dinosaurs are now available to meet and interact with guests.
A trainer with a 3-week old raptor called Tango is now on-hand to answer any questions about the young carnivore.
Guests can also meet a lumbering, multi-ton Triceratops that actually walks out, does tricks, and poses for photos.
Jurassic Cafe has reopened with the reworked blue and grey color scheme and a new Costa Rican-inspired menu. Now guests can take in mojo pork or empanadas, among other exotic choices.
With the new food comes new drinks at Isla Nu-Bar, the very punny tiki-inspired bar right outside of Jurassic Cafe.
Rum cocktails in souvenir tiki mugs are sweeping Southern California, and Universal is joining in on the fun!
Unfortunately, not everyone is going to be tall enough to experience Jurassic World – The Ride. To accommodate all the junior paleontologists out there, Universal has updated the Dino Play area with towers around the perimeter that offer a few more options for fun.
This past week, Jurassic World – The Ride opened to guests for technical rehearsals, completing a nine-month makeover of the classic “Jurassic Park” attraction that opened back in 1996. The new version of the ride is a blend of old and new with state-of-the-art screen-based elements and animatronic dinosaurs.
The new rendition of the attraction has removed Ultrasaur Lagoon in favor of an impressive screen-based effect featuring the very large and very scary Mosasaurus. The new scene is fun and surprising. On top of everything else is the added perk of having the once visible parking structure now blocked off completely from the eyes of riders.
Stegosaur Springs has remained mostly untouched and features many of the same animatronics that have been there since 1996, including this cute little gal.
In the original ride, this was meant to be a “backstage” area built to give riders the feeling that they were not supposed to be there. Now in Jurassic World – The Ride, Predator Cove is the place where the park’s most dangerous dinosaurs live.
This is where riders first learn that the Indominus Rex, a science experiment gone deadly, has escaped and made its way into the Tyrannosaurus enclosure.
As the boats make their way to the ride’s climax, riders are instructed by Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to remain in the boats and not to make any sudden movements.
This is the first real look at the dreaded Indominus Rex as it chomps at the boats from a hole in the rafters.
At the top of the lift hill, we hear Owen’s voice telling us he has sent none other than Blue to help out. This is the most impressive addition to the ride, as Blue is actually capable of walking. She rears her head back and lets out multiple cries to try and distract the oversized dinosaur as it looms over the boats.
Just as everything seems hopeless and guests resign to being dino-chow, the Tyrannosaurus comes to the rescue as the boat plummets down the 85-foot-drop into a splashdown.
No ride would be complete without a trip to the gift shop, and this is no exception. Jurassic Outfitters has been outfitted with the same blue and grey color scheme to match the rest of the land.
The shop now sports some new apparel inspired by the updated ride.
Super Nintendo World
Crews are hard at work at the location for Super Nintendo World. The foundation is taking shape and the track for the new Mario Kart ride is becoming recognizable.
Hollywood is expected to receive a smaller version of the video game-based land than the other Universal parks around the globe.
Right next door to Super Nintendo World, the recently-constructed extended queue for Transformers was in use during the busy holiday week.
Halloween Horror Nights
Every summer, construction on Halloween Horror Nights kicks into high gear. This year will be the event’s biggest yet with 10 mazes!
The Parisian Courtyard has been boarded up for what is rumored to be the “Holidayz in Hell” maze.
On the Lower Lot, behind Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride’s extended queue, lays an unknown maze that is rumored to be themed to “Killer Klowns from Outer Space.” A blue tarp has been hung over the facade.
Down on the Backlot, behind the Metropolitan sets, are another two unknown mazes that are being constructed as we speak. There are black markers on the ground to signify where each maze will lead its guests.
That’s going to do it for this photo update at Universal Studios Hollywood! Stay tuned to our website, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube channel and Facebook page to keep in the know about all things happening at the parks.
To learn more about Universal Studios Hollywood, visit UniversalStudiosHollywood.com.