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January 21, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Another blockbuster movie, another theme park attraction. Universal Studios Hollywood unveiled new details Tuesday of its next major attraction: a 3-D motion-simulator ride based on Universal Pictures' 2010 movie "Despicable Me. " Dubbed Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, the new ride, along with an interactive playland called Super Silly Fun Land, will open this spring at the site of the defunct attraction Terminator 2: 3D. The new attraction follows...
March 19, 2014 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
The new Despicable Me Minion Mayhem motion simulator attraction coming to Universal Studios Hollywood puts riders through a relentless and chaotic minion training course full of slapstick humor. PHOTOS: Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Hollywood Set to open in April, the 3-D attraction follows a story based on the "Despicable Me" animated films that starred Steve Carell as the super-villain Gru. The first two installments in the movie franchise grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide with a third installment planned for 2017.
July 31, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
Universal Studios Hollywood has announced plans for haunted attractions based on "The Walking Dead"  TV show, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" flim and "Silent Hill" video game as well as shock rocker Alice Cooper and the La Llorona folk legend, while continuing to drop hints about more scare zones and shows for Halloween Horror Nights 2012. Photos: Halloween Horror Nights 2012 at Universal Studios Hollywood The Walking Dead maze will take visitors into a post-apocalyptic wasteland overrun by hordes of zombies.
February 28, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard, This post has been updated. See note below for details.
SeaWorld closed Friday amid the strong storms that have hit Southern California. "Safety of guests/team members/animals is a top priority," tweeted Clyde the sea lion. Extreme weather conditions (heavy rain & strong winds): We're closed today (2/28). Safety of guests/team members/animals is a top priority. - Clyde Sea Lion (@ClydeSeaWorldSD) February 28, 2014 But if you still feel like heading to a theme park, Universal Studios Hollywood was open Friday and handing out free hot chocolate and coffee for those willing to brave the rain -- and the traffic -- for the Transformers and Shrek 4-D rides.
September 25, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
Halloween Horror Nights gets bigger, better and busier every year -- so much so the annual theme park event seems ready to burst like the bloody entrails spilling from the guts of so many hapless victims at Universal Studios Hollywood. > Halloween Horror Nights maze-by-maze preview | photos Horror Nights 2011 has grown to six mazes, many with hourlong waits during my visit on opening night, but the increasingly popular event probably needs twice as many mazes to handle the bloodthirsty hordes that crowd the park to capacity on the busiest evenings.
December 8, 2010
"Grinchmas" is returning to Universal Studios Hollywood this weekend, and a sleighful of celebrities have signed on for the twice-daily readings of Dr. Seuss' classic, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas. " Bob Newhart, Florence Henderson, Wayne Brady, Donna Mills, Fred Willard, Luz Rios, Tiffani Thiessen, Brandy and Nolan Gould (who plays Luke on "Modern Family") are among the performers who will be doing readings at the annual "Grinchmas" celebration. It also includes a snow-filled play area, a 60-foot Christmas tree, costumed singers, photo opportunities with the characters of the Grinch and his dog, Max, and a view from the tour tram of sets that were used in Universal's 2000 film adaptation of the book.
At the heart of the new film "Casper" lies a simple romance between the boyish, translucent hero and a teen-age girl who moves into his haunted mansion. But putting that simple story onto the screen--making a movie in which animated ghosts cavort with human actors--proved to be a complex endeavor, requiring the equivalent of 19 million floppy disks of computer-generated images.
Where's Charlton Heston when you really need him? The actor could have been a big help Saturday afternoon when a wrong-way Universal Studios Hollywood employee drove her car into the theme park's Red Sea attraction. The young woman, who works in the studio's wardrobe department, was rescued unharmed from the middle of the lake about an hour later by Los Angeles County firefighters.
May 1, 2005
Adults can eat and drink all day for $19.95 at Universal Studios Hollywood. Guests 48 inches or shorter pay $11.95. The offer, which continues through June 30, is good for meals and beverages at Mel's Diner and Jurassic Cove Cafe. Purchase the dining passes at the restaurants or Universal Studios Hollywood ticket booths. For park information, call (800) UNIVERSAL (864-8377) or see
September 30, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
Every year at Knott's Halloween Haunt, I spend the whole night visiting the dozen or so haunted mazes at the Buena Park theme park. Photos: Halloween Haunt 2013 Shows | Mazes With only six to seven hours to hit all the Knott's Scary Farm mazes, there's never enough time to catch any of the shows - except for maybe "The Hanging" if I'm lucky. Review: Knott's Halloween Haunt 2013 focuses on quality over quantity It really takes two full nights to see everything Haunt has to offer.
September 21, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
My Top 13 list of Halloween mazes at theme parks around the world gathers together the most demented, disturbing and disgusting haunted attractions in one virtual place. Photos: Top 13 theme park haunted mazes in the world Think of the Top 13 as my version of a dream vacation if I had a bottomless budget and unlimited vacation time to jet around the globe to the best and most bizarre haunts. I've tried to include a sampling of mazes from each of the major theme park chains plus a few independents.
September 13, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
It looks like this year Knott's Halloween Haunt will finally drop the more-is-more mantra in favor of the right kind of more: more back story, more attention to detail, more monsters wearing custom masks and more intimate scares. PHOTOS: Halloween Haunt 2013 at Knott's Berry Farm After four decades of screams and scares, Halloween Haunt had gained a reputation for quantity over quality -- with unimaginative paint-on-plywood mazes, interchangeable story lines and monsters wearing store-bought masks.
September 12, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
Universal Studios Hollywood will be inundated with zombies as "The Walking Dead" takes over a haunted maze, a scare zone and the terror tram during Halloween Horror Nights 2013. Photos: Halloween Horror Nights 2013 at Universal Studios Hollywood I recently got a behind-the-scenes walk-through preview of "The Walking Dead" maze from Halloween Horror Nights creative director John Murdy and the hit AMC show's executive producer and makeup designer Greg Nicotero. After taking visitors through the zombie-infested streets of Atlanta last year, the all-new Walking Dead maze returns this year with scenes from the show's third season set in an abandoned prison and its rural Georgia surroundings.
September 9, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
Universal Studios Hollywood has announced plans for haunted mazes based on "The Walking Dead" hit TV show, "Evil Dead" film franchise and heavy metal trailblazers Black Sabbath for Halloween Horror Nights 2013. Photos: Halloween Horror Nights 2013 at Universal Studios Hollywood Doubling down on the success of "The Walking Dead" zombie juggernaut, Horror Nights will add a scare zone this season to the haunted maze and terror tram attractions returning from last Halloween. The 2013 version of the Walking Dead: No Safe Haven maze takes visitors inside the walls of the zombie-infested Georgia prison featured in the Emmy Award-winning show's third season.
April 25, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
We still have more questions than answers about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter more than a year after plans were announced for a West Coast version of the themed land at Universal Studios Hollywood. Photos: Top 10 Wizarding World of Harry Potter rides and attractions With much of the what, where and when of the Wizarding World project still a mystery, let's start with what we do know before working our way to what we still don't know. Where will the new land be located?
April 24, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
As a guy who started his own company before he graduated from high school, Garner Holt is just a big kid who owns a giant toy factory. "I feel like I've never worked a day in my life," said the founder and president of Garner Holt Productions, the world's largest animatronics maker. Located across from a string of high-voltage power lines near San Bernardino International Airport, Garner Holt Productions is tucked into an industrial park that remains hidden from most theme park fans.
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