Universal Studios Hollywood recently began its holiday season with the official start of Grinchmas. But Christmas isn’t the only source of cheer around this theme park as new projects are completed with many more on the way, all part of a massive overhaul project spanning many years to come.
Longtime Inside the Magic podcast contributor “Skipper” Ben Rebstock paid the park a visit while in town over the weekend and sent over photos of the status of all the ongoing efforts to improve the park.
Right now Grinchmas is indeed the center of attention, quite literally, now found front-and-center in the park. The Grinch, Max, and various Whos meet and greet with guests while also entertaining in front of a wildly winding tree. It’s all taking place just inside Universal Plaza, a new iconic structure in the park.
Also nearby is the new Pink’s Hot Dogs location, a famous Hollywood food staple. Aside from the original standalone restaurant, there are another couple locations at Knott’s Berry Farm. But now these legendary eats are available inside Universal Studios Hollywood.
The area formerly home to Terminator 2: 3D and the Coca-Cola play area is rapidly becoming Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem and Super Silly Funland. It’s a much larger project than the same attraction at Universal Orlando, with more neighborhood buildings surrounding Gru’s house, all now taking shape.
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem will open Spring 2014.
Much further out and just barely under construction is the west coast version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Gibson Amphitheatre has been demolished to make way for this massive new land that will include Hogwarts Castle. But for now, it’s just a bunch of dirt and construction vehicles – nothing particularly magical.
Thanks to Ben for supplying the photos for this update. Ben and his wife Lisa are available for theme park travel booking and tips via their Facebook page.