January 27, 2010 |
After nearly 19 months away from the spotlight, a new King Kong -- more grizzled and, definitely, ferocious -- is preparing to return to Universal Studios Hollywood. Since the old animatronic Kong was destroyed in a fire on the theme park's back lot, Hollywood's top visual effects wizards have been tinkering away in a giant hangar in Playa Vista to create a new, more realistic ape to terrify visitors who take the park's signature back lot studio tour. Inside the humongous drab-green building, Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson has led a team of film and theme park ride experts in creating a 3-D version of the hairy ape to replace the Kong that died in the June 2008 fire.
June 1, 2012 |
This post has been corrected The top theme parks in North America enjoyed an estimated 2.9% increase in attendance in 2011, with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Fla., accounting for about half of that rise. The attendance estimate was released Thursday by the Burbank-based Themed Entertainment Assn., a trade group for designers of theme parks, casinos, museums, zoos and other entertainment venues. The assessment is based on an annual estimate of theme park crowds by AECOM, a Los Angeles engineering and consulting firm.
February 8, 2012 |
Winter always gets me thinking about going to theme parks in Southern California, even if I don't have visitors underfoot. The prospect of cooler temperatures and lighter crowds in February and March sends me looking for discounts on the high cost of tickets. I found that the Southern California CityPass -- with a flat rate for admission to Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Universal Studios Hollywood and SeaWorld San Diego -- offers good savings, even when compared with incentives for SoCal residents.
June 24, 2004 |
The Revenge of the Mummy ride at Universal Studios Hollywood is what the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland would be if hijacked by a band of hyperactive genius teen pranksters who'd spent way too much time playing dark-themed fantasy games and watching movies about cloth-wrapped corpses come to life. Not that the Mummy -- which opens Friday -- is as horrifying as the Universal publicity machine pretends.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 3, 2008 |
The tram crammed with tourists snaked down the hillside road and through its first highlight, the gray soundstage buildings of Universal Studios Hollywood's front lot, as the tour guide recounted famed movies shot there: "Jurassic Park," "Jarhead," "Live Free or Die Hard." As they began to round a corner, tourists saw a red firetruck parked beside the road. A few firefighters, amazingly realistic, walked by. Around the corner entire rows of fire engines appeared. Then the group gasped.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 1994 |
Where's Charlton Heston when you really need him? The actor could have been a big help Saturday afternoon when a Universal Studios Hollywood employee drove her car the wrong way--into the theme park's Red Sea attraction. The woman, who works in the studio's wardrobe department, was rescued unharmed from the middle of the lake after about an hour by county firefighters. Playing Moses in one of his most famous movie roles, Heston parted the waters of the mechanized "sea" on the studio's lot.
September 15, 1992 |
Hoping to scare up some new customers, Universal Studios Hollywood is going after the Halloween crowd. Backed by a strong promotional campaign, the theme park hopes to send a shiver through not only its guests but also executives of Knott's Berry Farm, who for two decades have had the lucrative Halloween business to themselves.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 12, 1996 |
Maybe they should have called it Backwash. Visitors to the Backdraft show at Universal Studios Hollywood got drenched Thursday afternoon when a pyrotechnic display accidentally triggered a powerful sprinkler system. The sprinklers cut loose during the show's finale, as 145 visitors standing on a balcony watched the warehouse below them explode into flames. No injuries were reported, but the audience was sprayed by a pipe system that pumps 1,000 gallons of water per minute.
December 24, 1992 |
In a year of riots, earthquakes and heavy rains, Southern California tourist attractions managed to muddle through 1992 without any major loss in attendance, reports a respected tourism trade journal. Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm were down slightly. Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia held steady. Universal Studios Hollywood and Sea World of California even managed modest increases, according to Amusement Business Magazine in its annual attendance tally. Disneyland recorded 11.
June 4, 2008 |
In addition to the ruined "King Kong" attraction and the burned New York street scapes, the Universal Studios Hollywood fire has claimed another casualty: perhaps hundreds of classic 35-millimeter film prints, the studio said Tuesday. The prints were high-quality copies of decades-old movies, not original masters, which are stored in a Philadelphia vault, the studio said.