• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

All things Universal Studios Hollywood

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
Half my brain is squealing with joy at the sight of this. The other half is wondering if maybe taking such a literal approach to designing a Mario land has its drawbacks... Oh, what the heck-- SQUEEEEEEEEALLLLL!!!!!!!! :D Not a fan of the visible slots for the moving clouds, though.
To bad we are getting Secret Life of Pets instead of that. It's suppose to be the same ride vehicle just reskinned.
 

BubbaQuest

Well-Known Member
Advertisement
Half my brain is squealing with joy at the sight of this. The other half is wondering if maybe taking such a literal approach to designing a Mario land has its drawbacks... Oh, what the heck-- SQUEEEEEEEEALLLLL!!!!!!!! :D Not a fan of the visible slots for the moving clouds, though.
Ya, I kinda feel the same way. However, if you can find the photo before that one, they just craned the top of the building onto the other half. What we are seeing was prefabbed somewhere else. I'm assuming any fine detail was left off and there is still some fine detail work to do.
 

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
Hiding in shame.
When I rode it last week at HHN, it felt cheaper than the original. There were less dinos and more dead space. The jungle room was cool but it makes no sense without the I-Rex. Even when he is there, you really don't see him because he is mostly hidden and too high up. We also don't need a waterfall on us at the beginning of the ride. I hope the spitters are there at the end of the ride after you go down the drop. It is just missing stuff.
 

Rich T

Well-Known Member
When I rode it last week at HHN, it felt cheaper than the original. There were less dinos and more dead space. The jungle room was cool but it makes no sense without the I-Rex. Even when he is there, you really don't see him because he is mostly hidden and too high up. We also don't need a waterfall on us at the beginning of the ride. I hope the spitters are there at the end of the ride after you go down the drop. It is just missing stuff.
It looks like they cared more about making the ride a less expensive attraction to maintain than in improving the original.
 

Rich T

Well-Known Member
Another recent shot of the construction in Japan:
Super Nintendo World Construction.jpg
Now, I'm a big Nintendo fan, and I've dreamed of a Nintendo theme park land for years, but... hmmmm... Well, I know this'll look tons better when it's finished and in motion as a huge kinetic sculpture. And there's no mistaking what it is. But what I don't like is that this massive centerpiece is basically all eye candy and little substance; The Yoshi ride that passes through it seems like a relatively minor attraction with a short track layout. The big Mariokart ride has nothing to do with it. It's kind of like if all the rockwork in Cars Land had been created to just look impressive and form a backdrop for Junkyard Jamboree. Then again, it's there to make the place look cohesive, creating a landscape between Peach's castle and Bowser's castle, and it could really work in that regard. I think this is just my roundabout way of saying that I'm disappointed that the Yoshi ride seems a lot more C-Ticket than I'd hoped. If this facade housed a huge, epic Mario adventure with motion platform vehicles and a big fight against Bowser's army, well... then this mountain would be a lot more exciting.

There's been some speculation that this will be visible from Hogsmeade, which would be freaking hilarious.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Another recent shot of the construction in Japan:
View attachment 418243
Now, I'm a big Nintendo fan, and I've dreamed of a Nintendo theme park land for years, but... hmmmm... Well, I know this'll look tons better when it's finished and in motion as a huge kinetic sculpture. And there's no mistaking what it is. But what I don't like is that this massive centerpiece is basically all eye candy and little substance; The Yoshi ride that passes through it seems like a relatively minor attraction with a short track layout. The big Mariokart ride has nothing to do with it. It's kind of like if all the rockwork in Cars Land had been created to just look impressive and form a backdrop for Junkyard Jamboree. Then again, it's there to make the place look cohesive, creating a landscape between Peach's castle and Bowser's castle, and it could really work in that regard. I think this is just my roundabout way of saying that I'm disappointed that the Yoshi ride seems a lot more C-Ticket than I'd hoped. If this facade housed a huge, epic Mario adventure with motion platform vehicles and a big fight against Bowser's army, well... then this mountain would be a lot more exciting.

There's been some speculation that this will be visible from Hogsmeade, which would be freaking hilarious.
The land is going to have a lot of interactive components built into everything, so it’ll be more than kinetic sculpture.
 

iMax

Well-Known Member
I'll be visiting Universal Hollywood for the first time on Wednesday, I visit UOR constantly and know that compared to the one in Hollywood I'm not missing much but I still would like to see it at least once, looking forward to the Studio Tour and the Walking Dead attraction.
 

180º

Well-Known Member
I'll be visiting Universal Hollywood for the first time on Wednesday, I visit UOR constantly and know that compared to the one in Hollywood I'm not missing much but I still would like to see it at least once, looking forward to the Studio Tour and the Walking Dead attraction.
Don’t forget about Jurassic World and our Forbidden Journey, which has the best version of the dementor scene!
 

BubbaQuest

Well-Known Member
I'll be visiting Universal Hollywood for the first time on Wednesday, I visit UOR constantly and know that compared to the one in Hollywood I'm not missing much but I still would like to see it at least once, looking forward to the Studio Tour and the Walking Dead attraction.
Be sure to check out the WaterWorld show too.
 

Nirya

Well-Known Member
Did Halloween Horror Nights this weekend. Review now:

So this was my first time doing Universal's haunt in awhile. I hit up Knotts every year, but the prices for Universal generally kept me away. This year, however, my friend and I made a concerted effort to hit up all three major SoCal haunts (Queen Mary, Knotts, and Universal), so this was the final trip of the three for us. And, because we were doing it a night after going to Knotts, it meant I ended up comparing the two throughout the evening, usually with Universal looking bad in comparison.

Let's start with just getting into the park. Getting into the parking lot was a challenge, with it feeling like not-enough parking stations open to get cars in, followed by a general "figure it out" attitude with finding empty spots. Universal also has the most comprehensive security setup to get into the park, which actually worked to get most people in really quickly. I say most, because as soon as a hiccup occurs (which happened in the line I was standing in) the whole thing can become a slog.

We went all the way to the backlot to go on Ghostbusters first, which meant we wandered through most of the park and scare zones on the way. I want to highlight Terror Tunnel, the scare zone that separates the backlot from the lower lot, because I enjoyed it but it needed some extra stuff. I imagine they couldn't add smoke effects due to poor ventilation, but just having a straight-away tunnel with strobe lights was fine for what it was.

Ghostbusters was where we hit our first bit of trouble, because the standby line for this thing was just a slog. Giant switchbacks packed tightly while the same short music loop played mixed together to create a wholly unenjoyable experience that probably spilled into my negative feelings about the maze itself. I thought there were clever set designs, and the people involved really sold their parts, but the maze had the problem of being a comedy movie that was trying to deliver on actual scares, and just not really hitting the mark. I had some high hopes for this maze, and while the set pieces were creative, I was just not a happy camper by the time I walked out.

What I will say is that standing in one standby line is an amazing sales tool for upgrading to the front-of-the-line pass. We got the after 11 pass, which was probably a hilarious rip-off at $49, but we were pretty defeated after Ghostbusters so we were easy marks. While we waited for 11 to hit, we did Creepshow since it had a small line, and it was a fine maze, but still didn't get us excited. And as a quick aside, we first noticed this here but in a few of the lines that had TVs or in-line entertainment, they were showing this series of horror shorts which, while definitely gory, did nothing to build up to the mazes. Knotts made a concerted effort to add more things that built excitement for the mazes while you sat in line, but Universal did nothing of the sort, which was disappointing because they clearly hire skilled actors for this whole show, so trust some of them to do something entertaining for the people waiting in line.

Luckily, things turned at 11, and we immediately jumped in line for Wolfman Meets Frankenstein, and I don't know if it was the high of walking right to the front and skipping the standby wait, or just how damn good this maze was, but I came out of the maze on Cloud 9. This was an excellent use of the existing Universal movie monster licenses, and the amount of boo boxes (something Universal REALLY overuses) felt appropriate for this maze. Just a delight and a clear highlight.

The Fright Lane passes also meant front-of-the-line for the rides, so we used them to ride the new Jurassic World ride, which was...fine. It wasn't better than the original, though we did get noticeably wetter. It looked like the Indominus Rex was actually working, though not having the waterfall to hide the T-Rex before it swoops in was some bad show. Honestly feels like they rushed this thing to open without making sure everything was working smoothly.

Did the Stranger Things maze afterwards. I had only seen a few episodes of the series but my friend was a huge fan, and she absolutely loved everything that was going on, so I guess it was a success on that front. As a non-fan, this maze was ok, if not way too heavily reliant on the Demagorgon puppet scares. Did Killer Klowns to round out the lower lot, and it was, again, a fine maze, but nothing to stand out.

Up on the upper lot, we immediately hit up Us, and as a fan of that movie, I really enjoyed the maze. The movie itself thrives on the creepy atmosphere, and they really nailed that tone throughout, with the final Hands Across America room absolutely terrifying the people behind us. House of 1000 Corpses was exactly what I expected a Rob Zombie-based maze to look, sound, and feel like, which wasn't a bad thing, and was probably one of the stronger mazes we hit up. We finished the night with Holidaze in Hell, which was very campy and fun, with each holiday room just doing enough without overstaying its welcome.

I felt the mazes were generally good. My biggest issue is that they all rely way too heavily on the boo box scare tactic of having a hidden scare actor pop out from a wall with accompanying flashing lights and loud sounds. The mazes really needed more regular scare actors in them, and our favorite mazes (Us, Werewolf meets Frankenstein) seemed to do a good job of mixing the boo boxes in more sparingly with scare actors patrolling hallways and playing statue. The other issue I had was the amount of black hallways. each maze featured these black hallways that essentially acted as transitions between scenes. Both Knotts and Queen Mary do a great job of putting detail in each hallway, and the basic black hallways just feel like a lazy design cop-out (though I'm sure the more terrified among us appreciated the momentary respites between scares).

And maybe that's my biggest problem; for the amount of money I paid for the entire experience ($27 parking plus a $72 ticket for the "cheaper night" plus a $49 ticket upgrade), I only left a few of the mazes feeling impressed. There were some outright duds (Ghostbusters, Creepshow, Killer Klowns) which really shouldn't be happening at a park with the financial weight of Universal. Especially compared to Knotts and the Queen Mary; Knotts had a similar number of mazes but with a much higher average quality, while Queen Mary only had 6 mazes but compensated with good quality and a much lower price point. It's a similar issue with Disney - if they're going to charge the highest price point, they better be delivering the best show, and after this year I can't say they did that.

Overall, I had fun, but my pocketbook is not super-happy today with what I spent.
 

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
One thing I would suggest is going to Universal HHN with the "After 2pm" combo pass. This lets you in the park at 2pm. You have time to eat and ride a few rides. Then they let you into the lower lot mazes an hour and half before the general public. In that time you could do Ghostbusters, Creepshow, killer Klowns and Werewolf meets Frankenstein or just Stranger things. With those out of the way, head back up to do Us, Pandora's box, Holidays and House of 1k corpses. You would be done by 10pm.

The Jabberwocky show isn't worth seeing unless you like hip hop dance crews. It sounds like @Nirya missed Pandora's Box. Everyone seems to miss that one since it is right next to Us. It was nothing but day glow skeletons.
 

Nirya

Well-Known Member
One thing I would suggest is going to Universal HHN with the "After 2pm" combo pass. This lets you in the park at 2pm. You have time to eat and ride a few rides. Then they let you into the lower lot mazes an hour and half before the general public. In that time you could do Ghostbusters, Creepshow, killer Klowns and Werewolf meets Frankenstein or just Stranger things. With those out of the way, head back up to do Us, Pandora's box, Holidays and House of 1k corpses. You would be done by 10pm.

The Jabberwocky show isn't worth seeing unless you like hip hop dance crews. It sounds like Nirya missed Pandora's Box. Everyone seems to miss that one since it is right next to Us. It was nothing but day glow skeletons.
Oh no, we did it. It was just very forgettable. Like we got out of Us, saw the line for it, and said "ehh, might as well".
 
Top Bottom