July 16, 2012 |
NBCUniversal has dropped controversial plans to build thousands of residences on its famous back lot and hopes instead to add movie and television production facilities and expand the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. The new $1.6-billion proposal was unveiled Monday just before the release of the final environmental impact report on the company's proposal to improve the sprawling studio and tourist attraction in the San Fernando Valley. An earlier plan, valued at $3 billion, called for nearly 3,000 apartments and condominiums at the east end of the studio's property; they would have been served by proposed shops and restaurants.
June 2, 2012 |
Theme park attendance rose nearly 3% in North America last year, according to a new report. But about half of that increase was because of one attraction — the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which opened at Universal's Islands of Adventure park in Orlando, Fla. None of the major theme parks makes its attendance records public, but annual estimates are made by AECOM, a Los Angeles engineering and consulting firm. Those figures were used in a report released by the Themed Entertainment Assn.
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.
May 10, 2012 |
Having cast a spell in Orlando and planted his flag in Los Angeles, Harry Potter is now taking his theme park magic across the Pacific. Universal Studios Japan on Thursday will unveil plans to build the first international version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the blockbuster attraction that has drawn millions of fans to Universal's Orlando resort and is expected to do the same at a planned Hollywood location. The Osaka destination, which will begin construction in the next few weeks with a planned opening in late 2014, is the latest in a series of expansions underway at major parks around the world that has followed an uptick in attendance, particularly in Asia.
April 13, 2012 |
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.
January 25, 2012 |
Universal Orlando will debut the "Cinematic Spectacular" nighttime water show this spring as part of a new entertainment lineup at the Florida theme park that includes an upgrade to one ride, a re-theme of another attraction and the addition of a nightly parade. PHOTOS: New attractions coming to Universal Orlando this spring and summer "Cinematic Spectacular" will celebrate a century of Universal Studios movie memories with a nighttime water show that features film clips projected on 30-foot-by-30-foot waterfall screens and colorful fountains that rocket 100 feet into the air along with laser lights and pyrotechnic displays on the Orlando theme park's central lagoon.