May 18, 2023

Universal Studios

Universal Studios Hollywood, located near Glendale, is a film studio and theme park in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County, California. About 70% of the studio lies within the unincorporated county island known as Universal City while the rest lies within the city limits of Los Angeles, California. It is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood film studios still in use. Its official marketing headline is “The Entertainment Capital of LA”. It was initially created to offer tours of the real Universal Studios sets and is the first of many full-fledged Universal Studios Theme Parks located across the world.

Outside the theme park, a new, all-digital facility near the Universal Pictures backlot was built in an effort to merge all of NBCUniversal’s West Coast operations into one area. As a result, the current home for KNBC, KVEA and NBC News with Noticias Telemundo Los Angeles Bureaus with new digital facility is on the Universal lot formerly occupied by Technicolor SA. Universal City includes hotels Universal Hilton & Towers, the Sheraton Universal Hotel, and Universal CityWalk, which offers a collection of shops, restaurants, an 18-screen Universal Cinema and a seven-story IMAX theater. In 2017, the park hosted 9.056 million guests, ranking it 15th in the world and 9th among North American parks.

Universal Studios Hollywood is split into two areas on different levels, connected by a series of escalators called the Starway. These areas are known as the Upper lot and Lower lot. As of 2021, Universal Studios Hollywood contains ten rides, seven shows, and two play areas. Each lot features a collection of rides, shows and attractions as well as food, beverage, and merchandise shops.

The Upper Lot consists of a variety of family-based attractions. The theming of the Upper Lot includes a Mission Revival entrance pathway, known as Universal Boulevard, that features the large Universal Plaza that opened in 2013. There are not as many fully themed lands as there are small environments linked together with a common Art Deco theme that reflects the glamour of Old Hollywood. Universal Boulevard is home to Waterworld: A Live Sea War Spectacular, and the DreamWorks Theatre, the latter which currently serves as the main location for Kung Fu Panda Adventure, a slightly modified version of Kung Fu Panda: Unstoppable Awesomeness from Motiongate Dubai.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter soft-opened February 2016, and officially opened April 2016, and is the largest themed area in the Upper Lot, featuring the animatronic and screen-based thrill ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which is housed in a replica Hogwarts castle, featuring actual props from the films in the queue. In addition, this area includes the family-friendly roller coaster Flight of the Hippogriff, and the interactive Ollivander’s Wand Show where a wand picks a witch or a wizard. Two live shows, Frog Choir and Triwizard Spirit Rally, are featured on the outdoor stage. In addition to attractions, the themed area features multiple shops, a Hogwarts Express train picture spot, The Three Broomsticks restaurant, and a variety of outdoor vending carts selling food and drink. Souvenirs and food based on the books and films are sold in the area too.

Jurassic World: The Ride, is a water adventure ride that takes visitors through the events of the film Jurassic World, ending with an 84-foot drop. Outside the ride stands the Raptor Encounter, a show that happens throughout the day, and the Dino Play jungle gym area for children too small to ride. Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride is a high speed indoor roller coaster transporting guests through moments reminiscent of the 1999 Mummy franchise. Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is an interactive dark ride attraction featuring augmented reality technology based on the Mario Kart franchise, which is located inside of Super Nintendo World. Transformers: The Ride 3D uses high tech technology to simulate a battle between the Autobots and Decepticons with 4K-3D screens and flight simulator ride vehicles. The Lower Lot also features several gift shops and quick service restaurants.

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