Universal Studios

Time to ride the movies

Universal Globe  The Universal Globe

Universal Studios

Universal Studios is part of the Universal Orlando Resort. The park, which opened in 1990, is a park that lets visitors "Ride the Movies." It offers many shows and rides, along with countless other things for guests to see and do. Universal Studios, its sister park Islands of Adventure, CityWalk, and several on-site hotels combine to make a complete vacation destination.

The park plays host to many special events throughout the year, including the popular Halloween Horror Nights in October.
The attractions at Universal Studios Florida are split into six different areas.

Production Central

 Shrek 4-D (2003) is a short film/ride. Participants are lead into a dungeon-like room with two giant television screens on either side. On the screen, Lord Farquaad announces that he has kidnapped the Three Little Pigs, Gingerbread man, and Pinocchio and is holding them hostage. After a brief tutorial from the ride operator, the cinema doors are opened and people take their seats. The short film takes place right after the first Shrek film. In it, the spirit of Lord Farquaad returns from the dead to kidnap Princess Fiona. Therefore, it is up to Shrek and Donkey to rescue her. Although the animation is 3-D , the ride is a 4-D film, which means it is designed to make viewers feel what they are watching. For example when Donkey spits, the sneezes in front of the seats spray mist into viewers' faces. It also has moveable seats, air jets and rubber tubing, to simulate other effects such as air, "creepy crawlies" and other movements.

 Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem When people are waiting in line for the ride, they get to learn about the recruitments of a Minion, the profiles of Gru, Dr. Nefario, Margo, Edith, Agnes and the Minions, filled with scenes from the first film and the Minion Mini Movies. The guests are also given a Minion-quiz, to let them test themselves to see if they are fully prepared to be a Minion. The answers in the quiz are always the last options except for one question where the answer is not listed as a choice.

 Hollywood Rip Ride Rockeit! This arrived at Universal Studios having in August 2009 and is quite unique as rollercoasters go. With a height of 167 feet (51 m), a length of 3,800 feet (1,200 m), and a top speed of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h), it is the largest X-Coaster ever built by German manufacturer Maurer Söhne. Some of the special features are that riders are recorded during the entire 1 minute and 37 second ride and can choose one of thirty songs to listen to during the experience.

 Transformers: The Ride 3D is a 3D dark ride. The ride, based on the Transformers film franchise, was desig Each installation is reported to have cost US$100 million. The ride consists of vehicle-mounted motion platforms which follow a 2,000-foot-long (610 m) track. Throughout the ride, screens up to 60 feet (18 m) high project 3D images of various Transformers characters as the Autobots attempt to protect the AllSpark from the Decepticons. Transformers: The Ride has been praised by media around the world with some stating it is one of the best theme park attractions in the world.

New York

 Revenge of the Mummy is an indoor steel roller coaster themed after the popular Mummy movies directed by Stephen Sommers. The rides opened on May 21, 2004 and was built by Premier Rides. The ride was reputed to be built at a cost of $40,000,000 USD. The Revenge of the Mummy coasters use Linear Induction Motors (LIM), used to launch riders from a complete standstill. The coaster in Florida features 3 LIM launches. The coaster in Florida lasts 3 minutes and features a top speed of 45 mph. The track is 2200 ft long featuring no inversions and a 50 degree angle of descent. The building housing the Florida version of the coaster was previously home to one of Universal's landmark attractions, "KONGfrontation". Homages to the Kong attraction can be found in several areas within the Mummy attraction. Guests enter the ride by browsing through a film setup for the fictional "third Mummy movie". The film's props, molds, and concept drawings are on display near the entrance to the ride. The inside queue morphs into a 1940s archeological dig, where guests board mine cars utilizing individual lap bars. Once the mine cars move away from the loading area, guests discover Reggie, a production assistant of the set, being sacrificed to Imhotep. The mine cars make their way into a giant treasure room, featuring many artifacts and a King Kong statue (in homage to the attraction's original tenant).

 Twister... Ride it out Twister... Ride It Out is a attraction located at Universal Studios Florida. It is based on the 1996 blockbuster film staring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. The attraction takes guests to a small mock-up of the Oklahoma town of Wakita. Video monitors show home movies of tornadoes shot, and signs carry information about the Fujita Scale. As guests walk into the "Twister filming centre" Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt talk about filming the movie. Later guests walk into a scene, resembling the Drive-In scene in the movie. Suddenly, sirens go off, and scenes from The Shining appear on the screen, then winds in the room get stronger. All of the sudden, a tornado drops from the sky, and a tree is split in half by lightning. Soon, the tornado wrecks the Screen, the food station, the car, and makes a thrilling effect with fire.

 The Blues Brothers Fans of the iconic Jake and Elwood Blues will love these outdoor performances on the streets of New York, several times a day. Throughout the day you see them in the "Bluesmobile" cruising up and down the streets on their way to the performance.

San Francisco

 Disaster!: A Major Motion Picture Ride...Starring You! is a dark ride partial tram tour and show. It is one of the original attractions at Universal and is set on a soundstage of a movie company, Disaster! is a based on the park's former "Earthquake: The Big One" ride, which comically illustrates how special effects are filmed for use in movies. The attraction's climax casts the riders as movie extras for a movie finale scene involving an earthquake in a subway station. Using high-speed editing techniques, the riders get to see themselves in the form of a movie trailer that includes film sequences shot throughout the attraction's pre-show and main ride.

 Bettlejuice's Graveyard Revue: This is a fun, musical frolick involving Dracula, Wolfman, Frankenstein and his bride lasting some 20 minutes. Compared by Beetlejuice himself. Not everyones cup of tea but still fairly popular.

London - Diagon Alley

 Diagon Alley:Recreated from the films and books with lots of shops and places to look around. Also a fire breathing dragon atop Gringotts bank.

 The Hogwarts Express is a magical, mystical train that carries students non-stop from Platform 9¾ at King's Cross station in London to Hogsmeade Railway Station, near Hogwarts. Prefects of the school ride in a separate carriage near the front of the train. To board the train you need to be in possesion of a two park pass so that you can get off the train and enter Hogsmeade at the Islands of Adventure. Before boardng the train you enter the platform and with some special effects you look to others as though you have passed through the wall.

The trian journey itself is very good and you see various parts of the British countryside on your way. The carriages look quite authentic and look like the carriages of yesteryear.

 Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts: is a 3-D motion-based steel roller coaster ride The ride themed to the Gringotts Wizarding Bank became the flagship attraction for the expanded Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort when it opened July 8, 2014. The ride uses motion based vehicles, detailed sets, physical effects, and 3D projection screens similar to those used in Transformers: The Ride and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.

World Expo

 Fear Factor Live is an attraction that opened in Spring of 2005. It began operating on a seasonal schedule in February 2009. The attraction began running again on a full time basis (except for Halloween Horror Nights considerations) in the Summer of 2010. The attraction is based on the NBC television series Fear Factor, and features theme park guests becoming contestants in various stunts inspired by the show.

 Men in Black: Alien Attack A ride that allows you to shoot aliens as you travel around the track in your rotating vehicle. Riders enter a MIB training facility disguised as a pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. After navigating through a themed queue and pre-show, riders board a spinning dark ride system. Once dispatched riders are tasked to kill aliens using the supplied laser guns, and subsequently accumulate points. At the time of its opening, the ride was the biggest dark ride ever built at a Universal park, spanning 70,000 square feet (6,500 m2) and featuring over 125 animatronic aliens.

 The Simpsons Ride is a simulator ride featured at the Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood theme parks. The ride is based on the animated television series The Simpsons. It was first announced in 2007 and replaced the Back to the Future: The Ride at both locations.[9] The ride at Universal Studios Florida soft opened on April 23, 2008, and the official ceremonies took place on May 15. The ride at Universal Studios Hollywood opened on May 19, 2008. The Simpsons Ride was collaborated on by the producers of The Simpsons, and uses computer generated 3D animation, which was provided by Blur Studio and Reel FX. 2D animation was provided by Film Roman. The ride uses state of the art technology, including a new projection system and new hydraulics. Entrance to the Simpsons ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. The Simpsons ride is a simulator ride which replaced the Back to the Future ride.

The ride itself is four and a half minutes long but original footage for the ride can be seen in the queue, and there is also a pre-show video. In the ride, patrons are introduced to a cartoon theme park called Krustyland built by Krusty the Clown. Sideshow Bob, however, is loose from prison to get revenge on Krusty and the Simpson family.

Woody Woodpecker´s KidZone

 A Day in the Park with Barney is a show at Universal Studios Florida. It opened in 1995 and is based on the children's television show, Barney & Friends. It also has a "Barney's Backyard" playground area with a chance to meet Barney in a meet and greet session before and/or after the main show in the Barney Theatre. It is one of the few places where Bob West's voice can still be heard and one of Universal Studios' attempts to appeal to the younger generation.

 Curious George Goes to Town is a children's aqua play and ball play area. The attraction originally opened in 1998, on the former site of The Bates Mansion Set used in Psycho IV: The Beginning and is a great way to let the kids cool off.

 Animal Actors StageA great mix of animal performances and audiance participation. Many have been in films and retired to Universal.

 Woody Woodpecker´s Nuthouse Coaster It is the park's first roller coaster and the first roller coaster constructed at Universal Orlando Resort. The coaster was built in 1999, between the outside queue area for E.T. Adventure and the former 1990 Hard Rock Cafe building. The pretense is that guests are going on a wild ride through Woody Woodpecker's own Nut Factory.

 E.T. AdventureThe current ride, at Universal Studios Florida, has guests begin by entering a sound stage. Before going into the queue, Steven Spielberg tells us that E.T.'s teacher Botanicus needs E.T. to come to his home world, "The Green Planet" because the planet is dying. Only E.T.'s magical healing touch can save the planet, so it is up to the guests to bring him home. He also tells the guests that you make your journey on bikes, and that you need a "Interplanetary Passport" to get there. The guest gives the assistant their name and the card is programmed with it, which is used later in the ride. You now enter the movie set which begins the adventure. The interior queue is a forest setting where it is established that police are looking for E.T. The guests then board the ride, a car suspended from the track. Each individual seat is a bicycle, whose handles come down as the safety belt. The car brings the riders through more of the forest where it is revealed that they are to save E.T. and bring him home. Guests ride past police officers who begin to chase them away from the restricted area. As they are about to be caught, the bicycles begin to fly over the city and into outer space. They fly past an alien space ship where they are told by an alien of the same species as E.T. to bring him home. The ride emerges on E.T.'s home planet, a world of exotic plants, animals, and many others of E.T.'s species. The ride continues through the alien world until the end of the ride. At the end, guests pass an animatronic E.T. who thanks them all by the name they gave to the travel agents.

Hollywood

 Universal's Horror Make-Up Show (previously titled Phantom of the Opera Horror Make-Up Show and The Gory, Gruesome and Grotesque Horror Make-Up Show). It opened with the theme park on June 7, 1990, and is a live show featuring at least three on-stage actors who comically instruct guests on Universal Pictures' legacy of horror movies. It was inspired by the former The Land of a Thousand Faces show at Universal Studios Hollywood. It is notable for being one of the only original attractions still in operation at Universal Studios Florida, the other two being E.T. Adventure and Lucy: A Tribute.

 Terminator 2 3-D: Battle Across Time is a mini-sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day and reunites director James Cameron and the main cast of that movie, including Arnold Schwarzenegger as "T-800", Linda Hamilton as "Sarah Connor", Edward Furlong as "John Connor", and Robert Patrick as the "T-1000". The show is in two parts: a pre-show where a spokesperson talks about Cyberdyne and the main feature which has performers interacting with a 3-D movie.

 Lucy - A Tribute a walk-through museum featuring the best of "America´s favorite redhead", Lucille Ball.

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Steve SewellMy Name is Steve Sewell and I have been visiting Florida regularly since 1990. From the very first vist I fell in love with the place and it still remains very strong. I am sure that many of you already feel the same and those that have yet to visit will get the "Bug". I hope the Love Florida Guide, helps you and gives you some advanced knowledge to make your visit even more pleasurable.

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