A Rainy Day at Universal Studios Hollywood – Update January 6th 2016

20160106_105903 (Large)It was one of those ‘I should’ve probably not visited a theme-park on this stormy day’ sort of day. Yet I had more fun than perhaps ever before. With a totally deserted park there were no lines of course, and with the pouring rain I almost slipped a bunch of times (always fun) in addition I got to see the more of Wizarding World of Harry Potter as walls are pushed back and there’s a lot more visible. In addition Jurassic Park- The Ride seems to be undergoing more serious work than anticipated, we’ve got a clear look for you in today’s Universal Studios Hollywood Update!

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Let’s start with the fact that the right side of the entrance and ticket-booth plaza is now under construction. 20160106_091814 (Large)There’s also a temporary metal detector setup that security made every guest pass through in the morning. The park seems to individually screen guests sharpening security like almost every other park in the country at this moment. 20160106_091811 (Large) Oh look, as you may have seen on our social media, Jurassic Park- The Ride is closed, more on this later. 20160106_092915 (Large) Once inside the park the small entry way to the rest of the park is still tiny and hard to push a crowd through. 20160106_095112 (Large) 20160106_095116 (Large) On the Lower Lot is it becoming awfully clear that the old NBCUniversal Experience building is becoming a whole lot taller. Still unsure what we’ll find in here, presumably something dining or retail related. 20160106_133202 (Large) We made sure to get PLENTY of rides in on the Revenge of the Mummy as rumors are making the rounds that Mummy will close this year to make room for an addition to the park’s Lower Lot line-up. More about all Universal Studios Hollywood Rumors can be found here.20160106_134712 (Large) The Krusty Burger is temporarily closed for a small remodeling it seems, so if you’re planning on eating there, be aware it may not be open during you’re visit if you’re visiting soon. 20160106_131215 (Large) By the way, another AWESOME reason for visiting Universal Studios Hollywood when it rains… Free hot chocolate. There are locations serving free hot chocolate on the Upper Lot and Lower Lot. Believe me, you’ll need it. We pretty much froze to our deaths ’til a lovely cup of hot chocolate was in our hands. 😉20160106_121153 (Large)

In all this rain (and excuse me for the poorer pics, it was literally pouring 90% of the day), there was still the wonder we call the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Where the walls at the entrance to the new area have been pushed back, allowing people to touch the entrance. (For fans, that’s incredibly exciting). 20160106_095906 (Large) Even with the whitest/grayest skies this place looks amazing, which by now you should be aware of. 20160106_095914 (Large) See if you consider the little archways on the sides of the entrance part of Wizarding World, then you can now sort of, technically go inside, and stand in there. 20160106_095916 (Large) The walls on the other side of Springfield have also been pushed back. Quite a bit even! 20160106_100037 (Large)We got a look at the Three Broomsticks. The lights were on inside, in addition, there was theme music playing throughout the area. I’m incredibly stocked! 20160106_105931 (Large)You also get a small peek of some of the line structures and switchbacks throughout the back of the area. Because a world of magic comes with a price, and I don’t just mean ticket prices, but lines as well. 🙂20160106_150114 (Large) Here’s another look at wet, rain filled Three Broomsticks. 20160106_150125 (Large) Of course the castle still towers above it all, if you look just below the rockwork in the picture, you’ll see a bunch of lights and koolfog fans, because there will be full lines there during hot afternoons and late nights. 20160106_150042 (Large) From the bridge to the Studio Tour, the rain really adds to the natural Scotland feel of Hogwarts. In addition, the green house is starting to receive lots of green (plants). 20160106_100119 (Large) 20160106_105903 (Large) From the Shrek 4D line I got a few more shots of Wizarding World stuff, it’s coming together now, here’s the directory inside the new themed area. 20160106_110651 (Large) Oh and here’s that fantastical castle again, from a different angle of course. 20160106_110656 (Large) The Flight of the Hippogriff was testing all day, almost seemed as if it were rain-testing. 20160106_110703 (Large) Even later right when the park was about to close it was running continuous test cycles.  20160106_174644 (Large)

Lastly, let’s take a look at Jurassic Park- The Ride. It closed on Monday for an extensive refurbishment, much like they do annually, though usually it doesn’t close ’til mid February. Also, there’s usually a reopening date announced as soon as it closes. This time, it’s different. It seems like there’s a whole lot more going on than the touch up repaints and slight updating of technology on the ride. The Raptor Encounter is therefore also closed for an extended period. 20160106_132025 (Large) There were a very good amount of construction workers going in and coming out of the Jurassic Park main building, there seems to be a lot of activity going on inside. 20160106_131839 (Large) And that there was a lot of serious activity going on became more clear when I saw the portable office/storage building, and a bunch of machinery. 20160106_131842 (Large) 20160106_131844 (Large) The lagoon, besides being drowned is now a large concrete field with dismantled track. 20160106_131852 (Large) All the track is taken out, the only thing remaining are the magnetic breaks. There’s a HUGE yellow crane positioned right next to it, definitely capable of reaching quite some height. 20160106_131917 (Large) I’m curious if it’ll be used for any lifting of current animatronics. We ALL know that the dinos on this Jurassic Park ride are definitely aged. They can all use a huge fix up.  20160106_131915 (Large) Either way, the biggest definite fact that we’ve learned here is that Universal Studios Hollywood is extensively refurbishing the lagoon track, this refurbishment is a lot larger than in years passed. I expect the ride to reopen before April even though a reopening date hasn’t been announced. Knowing the crowds Potter will attract, they’ll definitely want to have one of their major rides opened. 20160106_131857 (Large)DON’T FORGET THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER IS OPENING APRIL 7TH!image009

Thanks for checking out this Universal Studios Hollywood Update! Check out our new JOKER UpdateSix Flags Magic Mountain and New Revolution Update, and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Update! NEW ATTRACTION OPENING THIS MONTH AT SIX FLAGS DISCOVERY KINGDOM: PACIFIC RIM 5D

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