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April 13, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
I took a behind-the-scenes tour Friday of the new Transformers ride opening in a few weeks at Universal Studios Hollywood. PHOTOS: Behind-the-scenes tour of Transformers ride For those of you who have never experienced Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey or the rebooted Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Florida's Universal Orlando (or traveled to Universal Studios Singapore where Transformers opened in December), you're in for a real treat when the new motion-simulator dark ride with high-definition 3-D images officially debuts on May 25. For the better part of a decade, the Spider-Man ride was widely considered the best theme park attraction in the world, until the Wizarding World of Harry Potter came along and the Forbidden Journey reset the bar for attraction supremacy.
April 7, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
The latest expansion of Disney's California Adventure, the new Cars Land attraction, is set to open June 15, Disney officials said Friday, as the park offered a peek at one of the biggest attractions featured in the $1-billion expansion. The 12-acre Cars Land, featuring the characters from the Disney-Pixar film "Cars," will open with several new restaurants and three rides, including Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, Luigi's Flying Tires and Radiator Springs Racers. The most elaborate and anticipated attraction is Radiator Springs Racers, in which small, convertible cars carry passengers around realistic-looking buttes and canyons.
March 31, 2012 | By Randy O. Williams, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Training camps regularly prepare football players for their roles on the field, so why not one to help them prepare for their post-gridiron roles — in this case, a career in Hollywood? That's the idea behind the inaugural NFL Hollywood Boot Camp that kicks off (so to speak) Monday on the back lots of Universal Studios. Born out of a meeting between Film Life Chief Executive Jeff Friday and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, the new program is funded by the Player Engagement division of the NFL, an educational arm that also offers programs in broadcasting, business and music for current and former NFL players.
March 30, 2012 | By Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
First published on April 24, 2011. Revised and expanded in early 2012. The San Fernando Valley is 260 square miles of suburbia. Actually, make that suburbia on nutritional supplements. And antidepressants. With perhaps a little cosmetic surgery south of Ventura Boulevard, where the big money is. Or maybe -- now that it's grown to more than 1.7 million people in nearly three dozen cities and neighborhoods rich and poor - the Valley isn't even a suburb anymore. It begins just 10 miles northwest of Los Angeles City Hall, sprawling west to the Simi Hills, north to the Santa Susana Mountains and east to the Verdugo and San Gabriel mountains.
February 2, 2012 | By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky shot a torpedo at NBCUniversal's $3-billion "Evolution Plan," saying he opposes the company's proposal to build housing on part of its famous back lot in Universal City. The supervisor asked Universal Studios President Ron Meyer in a letter to abandon plans to develop nearly 3,000 condominiums and apartments at the east end of the studio's property. Yaroslavsky's district includes Universal City. The addition of such housing would have "considerable downside to Universal and to our local economy," Yaroslavsky said in the letter, dated Tuesday.
January 4, 2012 | By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
Plans to build a $750-million office and broadcast studio complex across the street from Universal Studios have been scrapped as NBCUniversal opts to keep its television operations on the famous lot. NBCUniversal said Wednesday that it would create new studios for the Los Angeles bureaus of NBC News and Telemundo, and their local affiliates KNBC and KVEA, near the lot's Lankershim Boulevard entrance. The 150,000-square-foot broadcast facility will be built in a building formerly used by Technicolor for production and offices, NBCUniversal said.
December 8, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
While most of us have Christmas on our minds, Universal Studios Hollywood is already planning for next Halloween. > Halloween Horror Nights 2011: Review | Photos | Celebrities   Universal has been conducting an online survey to gauge fan interest in 50 movie and television properties as potential haunted maze themes for Halloween Horror Nights 2012. The annual post-Halloween poll offers fans a glimpse into what could be on the horror horizon at Universal.
December 7, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
After defeating Voldemort and his Death Eaters in seven bestselling books and eight hit movies, Harry Potter is taking on perhaps his greatest challenge yet: boosting the Los Angeles economy. Universal Studios on Tuesday took the wraps off plans to build a Southern California version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which drove a 68% increase in attendance at its Orlando theme park during the first three months of the year compared with the same period in 2010. Ron Meyer, Universal's president, said his company would spend "several hundred million dollars" to create the attraction, which is expected to include a re-creation of Hogwarts Castle along with Potter-themed rides, shops and restaurants.
December 6, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
With frosty mugs of Butterbeer raised in a toast, Universal Studios Hollywood officials announced plans Tuesday to bring the wildly popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the California theme park. Details were limited but officials did say the California park would see a Hogwarts Castle and visitors would ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the marquee attraction at the Florida park. Wizarding World will be built within the existing California theme park, but it was unclear if the new land might be located at least partially on the studio's back lot. > Photos: Top 10 Wizarding World of Harry Potter rides and attractions Wizarding World proved an instant hit when it opened in June 2010 at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure theme park.
December 1, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
Hogwarts is coming to Hollywood. Universal Studios is planning to build a replica of its successful Florida Harry Potter attraction in Los Angeles, said people familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss it publicly. A contract between Comcast Corp.-owned Universal and Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros., which made the "Harry Potter" movies and controls licensing rights to author J.K. Rowling's books about the boy wizard, is being finalized and should be complete within the next few weeks, the people said.
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