Los Angeles is one of the world’s most dynamic cities. Even frequent visitors and longtime residents who think they know L.A. can always discover something new in this exciting metropolis. Read on to find out the latest attractions and greatest events taking place in the City of Angels. How many of these must-sees will you scratch off your bucket list this year?
The five-year transformation of the famed Upper Lot at Universal Studios Hollywood continues in 2015 with "Fast & Furious - Supercharged" and "Springfield." The project began with the launch of "Transformers: The Ride-3D" in 2012 and will culminate with the opening of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” in 2016.
FAST & FURIOUS - SUPERCHARGED (SUMMER 2015)
The iconic Studio Tour will add a spectacular new finale when “Fast & Furious - Supercharged” opens in the summer of 2015. Based on the "Fast & Furious" action movie series, “Supercharged” is a dynamic hydraulic-motion based ride that catapults guests into the high-stakes underground world of fast cars. Housed in a new 50,000-square-foot building, “Supercharged” tells an original "Fast & Furious" story with hyper-realistic special effects that immerse guests in the the adrenaline-fueled "Fast & Furious" universe. State-of-the-art 3D-HD imagery is projected onto the world’s longest and most expansive 360-degree screen, spanning nearly 400 feet in length to encircle Studio Tour passengers.
SPRINGFIELD - THE SIMPSONS RIDE (SPRING 2015)
Opening in spring 2015, “Springfield” captures the spirit of the hometown of America’s favorite family, The Simpsons. The vibrant and expansive space surrounding “The Simpsons Ride” will come alive with favorite locations from the 25-year run of the award-winning animated series. From famous eateries like Krusty Burger, Luigi’s Pizza and Phineas Q. Butterfat’s 5600 Flavors Ice Cream Parlor to iconic watering holes like Moe’s Tavern and Duff’s Brewery, guests will feel as if they’ve stepped through their TV and into the colorful city of Springfield.
Highlights of L.A.’s multicultural events include Chinese New Year celebrations in February, the 26th annual Fiesta Broadway in Downtown L.A. (April 16), and the Nisei Week Japanese Festival in Little Tokyo, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary in August (dates TBA).
The BET Experience is a three-day weekend event at L.A. LIVE in Downtown L.A., featuring a celebration of music, entertainment and culture that coincides with the BET Awards, taking place on Sunday, June 29 at Microsoft Theater L.A. LIVE.
West Hollywood is home to Southern California’s largest LGBT community, and is the site of the annual Gay Pride parade (June 12-14), as well as the Halloween Costume Carnaval, the largest Halloween street party in the world. For more Halloween fun, head to Universal Studios Hollywood, where hundreds of thousands of horror fans make Halloween Horror Nights the scariest event in L.A.
The holidays in Los Angeles are unlike any other city, with numerous outdoor ice skating rinks, the Hollywood Christmas Parade and the L.A. County Holiday Celebration.
Los Angeles is hosting the Special Olympics World Games, taking place July 25 to Aug. 2. The biennial World Games are the flagship events of the Special Olympics, founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver. With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators, the Special Olympics World Games will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in L.A. since the 1984 Olympic Games. Athletes will compete in 25 Olympic-style sports in venues across L.A., including USC, UCLA and the Los Angeles Convention Center. The opening ceremonies are taking place at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. For more information and to sign up to become a volunteer, visit www.la2015.org.
The U.S. Bank Tower rises over 1,000 feet above Downtown L.A. It’s currently the tallest building in California, the 11th tallest in the United States, the tallest west of the Mississippi River and the 65th tallest building in the world. The building was famously destroyed at the start of the alien attack in the 1996 sci-fi film "Independence Day." The tower is undergoing a $50-million upgrade that includes a renovation of the lobby and the addition of an observation deck and restaurant. Scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2015, the observation deck will be located on the 69th and 70th floors - the outdoor terraces will be accessed from the 69th floor. The restaurant will be located on the 71st floor. Admission to the observation deck is expected to be $25.
The historic Downtown L.A. building formerly known as Macy’s Plaza is undergoing a $160-million transformation into The Bloc, a modern, pedestrian-friendly destination. The project includes opening up the structure to allow more light, a $40-million upgrade of the Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel, street-accessible stores and restaurants, and internal access to the Metro Rail station directly below the building. The Bloc will be the largest single mixed-use property in the city, featuring a 750,000-square-foot luxury office tower and more than 400,000 square feet of retail and outdoor space. Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse, known for screening first run, independent and revival films, is opening a nine-screen movie house at The Bloc. Renovation of the 2.4 million-square-foot property is expected to be completed by fall 2015.