NBCUniversal is making over its popular tour at Universal Studios Hollywood with more comfortable and high-tech tram vehicles and a new 3-D attraction based on the “The Fast and the Furious” films.
The changes are part of a larger $1.6 billion plan to improve the theme park and expand film and television production and post-production on the lot. The studio tour has been offered for more than 50 years and is the most popular attraction at the theme park.
The improvements to the tour include illuminating backlot sets to extend the tours after dark and having actors dressed as Marilyn Monroe, Norman Bates and Frankenstein’s monster. More comfortable seats and high-definition monitors will be installed on the trams to show clips from movies filmed on the lot, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday.
A 50,000-square-foot structure is being constructed for the tram to drive into and where visitors will experience a 3-D thrill ride projected on a 360-degree screen based on “The Fast and the Furious” movies.
Additions have been made to the 45-minute studio tour over the year to highlight films made on the lot. Featured along the route are the “Psycho” house from Alfred Hitchcock’s horror thriller, a subway station from “Earthquake” and a close encounter with the great white shark from “Jaws.”
The NBCUniversal Evolution Plan for the 391-acre property has been years in the making.
The Los Angeles City Council and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the project in 2013. In addition to the improvements on the tour, the plan includes “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” attraction scheduled to open next year, soundstages, production office space and transportation and transit improvements.