If you're wondering what has changed since the last time you went to Universal Studios Hollywood, this regularly updated list will give you the latest attraction updates and future plans at the park.
New Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle
June 2017 - Universal Studios Hollywood has added a new Nighttime Lights show to Hogwarts Castle in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, making it a more magical experience at night. The light display and special effects projection will highlight the four houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin. the accompanying music, by composer John Williams, is based on his score for the film series. The light show will take place several times a night throughout the summer.
New Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Planned for 2017
Other news from Universal is the announcement of an all new holiday attraction that will add Christmas decor throughout the Wizarding World alongside their traditional Grinchmas activities. In addition to the festive decor, they will retool the new Hogwarts light and animation show introduced over the summer with a yuletide theme.
You can check out the teaser.
New Developments at Universal CityWalk
Recent developments on Universal CityWalk include a complete remodel of the Universal Cinema with with screening room quality theatres and ultra-plush reclining seats, Christie laser projection, Christie Vive audio sound system and Dolby ATMOS as well as next generation IMAX technology and a cocktail bar. Don't forget your earplugs!
Completely new to CityWalk in 2017 are Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville and Voodoo Doughnut. These follow the recent additions of Dongpo Kitchen, serving authentic Sichuan cuisine in a casual dining environment with outdoor patio, and Ludo Bird gourmet fast food fried chicken.
More on Universal CityWalk
DreamWorks Theatre Attraction Coming to Universal in 2018
With the acquisition of DreamWorks Animation, Universal is planning a new DreamWorks Theatre attraction in 2018 that will feature popular characters from DreamWorks films. First up is an all new multi-sensory adventure inspired by Kung Fu Panda.
In addition to the new theatrical experience, a bevy of DreamWorks characters will be added to in-park meet and greet opportunities including Kung Fu Panda’s Po and Tigress; Madagascar’s Alex the Lion, The Penguins—Skipper, Rico, Kowalski and Private, and King Julian; Trolls’ Poppy and Branch; Shrek’s Puss ‘n Boots.
Independent of DreamWorks, Hello Kitty will also be taking up residence at Universal Studios Hollywood for visitor encounters and jointly-themed products. Picture Hello Kitty Back to the Future edition.
The Walking Dead Year-Round Attraction is Now Open
June 2016 - If you wanted Halloween all year long, now you have it. Universal Studios Hollywood has opened a new year-round walk-through attraction based on the popular cable series The Walking Dead. For the last three years, a Walking Dead maze has been part of Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. The new attraction is located in a specially constructed building near the front of the park. Like the Halloween maze, it's a walk-through environment with scare characters and animatronic creatures creating an even more intense immersive experience with a set based on the TV show. There are familiar props and landmarks, and special effects designed by the same team that does effects for the show. The Walking Dead attraction is not recommended for children under 13 years old.
Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2016
The new Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in April 2016. I had a chance to take a walk through the new immersive area with Supervising Art Director, Alan Gilmore. Check out the photos and read about our adventure in my Wizarding World Hollywood First Look.
June 2015 "Fast &Furious - Supercharged" Added to the Tram Tour
AddressNorth Hollywood, CA 91602, USA
June 25, 2015 is the official open date for the new Fast and Furious - Supercharged component being added to the Universal Studios Back Lot Tram Tour. Although being billed as a new ride, you're still on the tram. Like the King Kong 3D component, the Fast & Furious experience will take the tram through a 50,000 square foot building where hydraulic lifts will take the whole tram on a fast-paced escapade. The attraction tells an original Fast & Furious story, incorporating hyper-realistic special effects and state-of-the-art 3D-HD imagery projected onto the world’s longest and most expansive 360-degree screen to encircle Studio Tour guests in the Fast & Furious universe.
May 2015 Springfield Hollywood Surrounds the Simpsons Ride
There were a couple elements of Springfield created when the Simpsons Ride opened in 2008. The Kwik-E-Mart, for example, was part of the original attraction. But now you'll find a whole array of businesses from the fictional town where the Simpsons cartoon takes place. While most of the buildings in Springfield Hollywood, like the school, the nuclear power plant, the antique shop and KrustyLu Studios are just facades, all the restaurants in the area have been re-themed and are selling their respective food items. You'll find Lard Lad Donuts, Suds McDuff's Hot Dog House, Krusty Burger, Cletus' Chicken Shack, Luigi's Pizza, Phinneas Q, Butterfat's Ice Cream Parlor, Moe's Tavern and the Duff Beer Brewery. Springfield Hollywood also has a half a dozen arcade games next to the Simpsons Ride.
The transformation of Springfield Hollywood makes it the second fully-themed area in the park. Springfield replaced the previous Flintstones Carnival Games, miscellaneous restaurants and the hanging shark Jaws photo op.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Super Silly Funland Open in 2014
Address1331 Production Plaza, North Hollywood, CA 91602, USA
In April 2014 Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and neighboring Super Silly Funland introduced not only a new ride, but the first fully-themed area at Universal that created a contextual environment around the ride to create a more immersive experience. The entire Despicable Me world replaced the former Terminator 2: 3D and the Coke Soak play area.
Universal Plaza is Added in 2013
In summer 2013, the Art Deco Universal Plaza was created at the center of the park to host an array of special events. One of the side-effects on this reconfiguration was the elimination of the beloved musical reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas during the annual Grinchmas celebration, which continues in a more subdued format.
Transformers: The Ride 3D Opens in 2012
The opening of Transformers: The Ride – 3D in spring 2012 was the beginning of Universal Studios Hollywood's ambitious 5-year makeover. The exciting 3D ride puts you in a transforming vehicle racing through a battlefield of other transformers. Transformers displaced the Special Effects show which moved over to the former Fear Factor set.
King Kong 360 3D added to the Studio Tour in 2010
Address333 Main Way Universal, Universal City, CA 91608, USA
After a fire damaged the original King Kong set visited by the Studio Tour trams, an all new King Kong 360 3D experience with surround digital 3D projection was added to the tour in 2010. The tram car is tossed around as Kong battles a 35' dinosaur.
The Simpsons Ride Replaced Back to the Future in 2008
In 2008 the giant walk-through Krusty the Clown head adorned the new Simpsons Ride in the building that previously housed the Back to the Future ride. The virtual roller coaster keeps the framework of its predecessor, but enhanced partial-motion cars and the 80-foot projection dome put you right in the middle of a mad coaster ride through the crumbling Krustyland theme park.