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Jurassic World makes splash with new technology

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Spectators take photos of the trisaurus “Juliet” at Jurassic Park at Universal Studios Hollywood.

LOS ANGELES >> After an overhaul, Universal Studios Hollywood’s Jurassic World — The Ride opened last month after several days of testing with almost no fanfare. The ride has been met with huge crowds, queues up to two hours long and mostly positive reviews from riders.

“This biggest challenge was to turn it around in a very short accelerated pace,” Thierry Coup, senior vice president of Universal Creative, the research and development team for Universal Parks and Resorts, said in an interview about his latest attraction.

To do that, Coup said, his team turned to some unique visual effects, the latest in animatronics and a few ideas borrowed from existing attractions such as the King Kong 360 3D segment of its Studios Tour.

Park officials declined to say how much they spent to overhaul the 23-year-old ride, which reopened less than two months after its biggest crosstown rival, Disneyland, launched its $1 billion expansion, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Industry experts say theme parks try to open new attractions in late spring to take advantage of the surge in tourists when youngsters get out of school and families start summer vacation.

Horror film ‘Us’ coming to Universal’s Horror Nights

Horror fans looking for a new adventure this year at Halloween Horror Nights will be happy to learn that Universal Pictures’ “Us” is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort this September.

Themed after Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele’s blockbuster horror film, the Us mazes in Florida and California will feature the unnerving labyrinth of underground tunnels that stretch from coast to coast below America.

Guests will discover the disorienting and the ominous uprising of “The Tethered,” giving horror fans the chance to live a nightmare where they quickly realize they are their own worst enemy.

Universal visitors start their journey in 1986 as Adelaide Wilson innocently ventures through a mirror fun house at the Santa Cruz boardwalk and meets her tethered doppelganger. The story then shifts to present day as guests are thrust into the chaos of “The Tethered” uprising as they emerge from their tunnels to murder their privileged doubles in a nationwide coordinated act of rebellion.

Halloween Horror Nights begins Sept. 6 in Orlando and on Sept. 13 in Hollywood.

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