Discussion in 'Non Disney Photos / Mobile Phone Photos' started by ddindy, Feb 6, 2019.
If anyone has visited Universal Studios Hollywood, you now have a place to post your photos.
In April, 2017, my sister flew down from Oregon and met me at Disneyland on Saturday. On Sunday we spent $30 to rent a car and drive across LA to Universal Studios Hollywood. At the recommendation of Scott and Tracey of the Disney Indiana podcast, we splurged for the Universal VIP experience. That gave us a guided tour of the park with front-of-the-line entry to most of the major attractions, a special version of the famous Universal Studios tram tour, an excellent lunch catered by the people who feed the movie stars on the lot, and best of all, an unlimited front-of-the-line pass to use after the tour. We put the pass to good use, riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey seven straight times.
I'll be posting some of my USH photos over the next several weeks. To start us off, here's a shot of Hogwarts Castle taken near the end of our visit. It looks quite a bit like the one in Orlando, but the topography of California's version of Hogsmeade is flat, so the castle entrance is not at the top of a hill.
Same Place, Different Location
One of the perks of the VIP experience was the special studios tour. Two of the morning tour groups were loaded on a VIP tour bus and given a modified version of the regular Universal Studios tram tour. The route hit all of the highlights, but not necessarily in the same order as the regular tour. In addition. there were a few stops where we were allowed to get off the bus and walk around.
This was one of those stops. The scene is from the 2005 version of War of the Worlds where a 747 has crashed into a suburban neighborhood. The set designers took a retired aircraft and made it look like it had actually crashed. It's a chilling sight in this post-9/11 world.
The Springfield area of Universal Hollywood is a bit more elaborate than its Florida counterpart. Here we can see Sideshow Bob climbing out of the Springfield Pen, on his way to another failed attempt to kill Bart Simpson.
Here He Comes Again
I recently posted a photo of the big splash at the end of Universal Orlando's Jurassic Park River Ride. Universal Hollywood had a similar ride called simply Jurassic Park The Ride. The splash at the end of that ride was significantly smaller. You'll notice that I said Hollywood "had" the ride. It's currently closed for retheming to the current Jurassic World film franchise.
Given how different Universal Hollywood's version of Springfield is from Orlando's, the sign for The Simspons Ride is strikingly similar. Here's the west coast version:
Just Like Florida
And for comparison, here's the one in Orlando:
The Simpsons Ride
Here's Hogsmeade from near the entrance. You'd never know that Shrek is just to the left of Hogwarts Castle.
The Road to Hogwarts
This building is called the Universal Box Office. While I don't see many boxes, the sculptures at the base of the tower are pretty nice.
No Visible Boxes
Universal Hollywood took a mediocre movie called Waterworld and turned it into a fairly enjoyable stunt show. Caution: You may get wet!
Here Come the Smokers
Moe's is right next to the power plant? No wonder Homer spends so much time there.
Gotta Go to Moe's
Universal Studios Orlando has a big section of New York streets. In Hollywood, they have a bit of London near the front of the park. Recognize anyone?
The Game's Afoot
You think you have a sweet tooth? The sugar skulls at Honeyduke's have a whole head full of them.
Ollivander's is well-stocked with wands today.
Wands and More Wands
The Universal Hollywood Backlot Tour is one of the oldest in the business. They have a variety of demonstration along the route, such as this Mexican village that's subject to frequent flash floods.
And Suddenly Things Went Horribly Wrong
Near the end of the Waterworld show, the main villain (known as the Deacon) takes a long walk off a short platform.
As probably one of the very few people on this site who lived in L.A. in the 70s and again in the early 90s, it's shocking and strange to see 'Universal Hollywood' and all these pictures as the same place! Back in the 70s, it was just a studio backlot tour and one or two stage shows. When I lived there from 1990 to 1994, it had expanded into a smallish theme park - still no 'rides' per-se other than the Studio Tour, and the dark ride ET Adventure which opened around 91 or so. It had expanded to the upper and lower levels by then, the Studio Tour had a lot more set features (Earthquake, Jaws, King Kong, Ice Tunnel, Battlestar Gallactica, etc)...and a lot more shows/action sets had been added (Wild West show, Miami Vice show, Conan show, Backdraft show, Star Trek Adventure)...and shows like American Tail live, Animal Actor School, and Blues Brothers Revue. Then things went really big in 93 when they opened CityWalk - which had a dozen or so stores, a Wolfgang Puck Pizza place, a hamburger place, an ice cream shop, and a Tony Roma's...and a bunch of neon signs from L.A. history. I only got to go there a few times after CityWalk opened, as 6 months later, we got crushed in the '94 Northridge Quake, and I moved to Florida shortly after.
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