Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Monumental Changes Planned for Universal Studios Hollywood's 50th Anniversary

Universal Studios Hollywood is moving full steam into 2015 with an ambitious plan to debut new attractions and experiences in honor of its 50th anniversary, changes that "will radically alter and reimagine its familiar footprint as The Entertainment Capital of L.A. sets its sights on the next 50 years."

Just how radical? Well according to Larry Kurzweil, President of Universal Studios Hollywood, the plan involves "reimagining over 75 percent of our destination" in order to "build upon our incredible success and expand our vision for the future." Basically when the transformation is over, the park will look different head to toe, filled with new experiences and offerings. 

Several of these will debut in 2015, including a Nighttime Studio Tour, which will feature "over 20 locations along the famed Studio Tour route will showcase an array of luminous onset lighting and special effects used in nighttime production. Theatrical lighting will cast a glow on iconic backlot sets as Studio Tour guides shed light on Hollywood secrets and tricks of the world’s most glamorous trade, including how filmmakers create the effect of daylight amid the black of night."

The tour will also include encounters with Marilyn Monroe, Norman Bates and Frankenstein. The special nighttime version will premier July 4th and run on weekends through Labor Day.

The entire area surrounding the park's existing Simpsons Ride will bring the home of the famous family to life, creating a real life version of Springfield. The massive undertaking will allow fans to experience some of their favorite locations from the series in person, including "Krusty Burger, Cletus’ Chicken Shack, Luigi’s Pizza and Phineas Q. Butterfat’s Ice Cream Parlor, along with Homer’s favorite hangouts, Lard Lad Donuts, Moe’s Tavern and Duff Brewery."

The expansion will focus mainly on providing new dining options to park visitors, all themed appropriately to their Simpsons location.

One of the most exciting additions in 2015 will be a brand new finale to the Studio Tour, themed to the Fast & Furious - Supercharged. Located in a 65,000 square foot building on the park's backlot, the technologically advanced experience will propel the famous trams into "the high-stakes underground world of fast cars and daring escapades traveling at accelerated speeds of up to 120 miles per hour." While the speed will be simulated, of course, the mix of film and special effects, combined with the appearance of the film's cast members, is sure to delight.

2015 will be an amazing year at the park, which has grown already by leaps and bounds - but the expansion will be needed to handle the massive influx of visitors in 2016 when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens. So much to look forward to!