Universal Studios Florida is an amusement park located in Orlando, Florida. Opened on June 7, 1990, the park's theme is the entertainment industry, in particular movies and television. Universal Studios Florida inspires its guests to "ride the movies", and it features numerous attractions and live shows. The park is one component of the larger Universal Orlando Resort. Universal Studios Florida is also a working production studio. It has been used for several movies, television series, commercials, music videos, and other events. It was also a production location for Nickelodeon from 1989 until 2005. In 2007, Universal Studios Florida hosted approximately 6.2 million guests, ranking it the sixth-most visited park in the United States parks and #11 among all parks worldwide.
Park history and designEdit
Unlike its sister facility, Universal Studios Hollywood, which was a working film and television studio that became a tourist attraction and ultimately a theme park, Universal Studios Florida was designed as both a theme park and a studio from the start. A major component of the original park in Hollywood is its studio tour, which featured several special-effects exhibits and encounters built into the tour, such as an attack by the great white shark from the film "Jaws". For its Florida park, Universal Studios took the concepts of the Hollywood tour scenes and developed them into larger, stand-alone attractions. As an example, in Hollywood, the studio tour trams travel close to a shoreline and are "attacked" by Jaws before they travel to the next part of the tour. In Florida, guests enter the "Jaws" attraction and board a boat touring the fictitious Amity Harbor, where they encounter the shark, then exit back into the park at the conclusion of the attraction. Universal Studios Florida originally had a Studio Tour attraction that visited the production facilities, but that tour has since been discontinued.
Over the years, Universal Studios Florida has not limited itself to attractions based on its own vast film library. It has occasionally licensed popular characters from other rival studios, many of whom did not operate theme parks themselves. Some examples include the Ghostbusters and the Men in Black (from Sony's Columbia Pictures), Jimmy Neutron (from Viacom's Nickelodeon), the Simpsons (20th Century Fox), and Shrek (from Dreamworks Animation).
Like all theme parks, attractions are sometimes closed due to age and replaced with more contemporary attractions. Universal has seen this action used a great deal of times, with many attraction closures such as Kongfrontation, Back to the Future: The Ride, Earthquake: The Big One, and The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera. Some closure, such as those of Kongfrontation and Back to the Future: The Ride, have proven drastic to longtime visitors and have been given homages by the park.
Universal Studios Florida is separated into seven different areas—Production Central, Hollywood, New York, San Francisco/Amity, World Expo, Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone and The Lagoon.
Production Central serves as the park's main entrance. The section is a cluster of motion picture soundstages, each of which houses attractions inspired by today's most popular films and television shows or actual film & television filming.
- Shrek 4-D, a 4-D film set between the events of the motion pictures Shrek and Shrek 2.
- The Universal Music Plaza Stage, an open-air music stage and plaza used for the park's annual concert events, such as Mardi Gras, Summer Concert Series and Rock the Universe.
- Hollywood's Rip,Ride, ROCKIT!, A High Flyin Coaster that blasts your favourite tunes while racing though Universal and City Walk.
- Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, A Family Animated Themed Ride, where you become one of the minions & go on an adventure with Mr.Gru and his daughers. Based of the 2010 Animated Comedy Film of the same name.
Along Hollywood Boulevard, guests will see recreations of some of its greatest monuments, such as Schwab's Drug Store and Mel's Drive-In.
- Universal's Horror Make-Up Show is a live stage show that shows guests how horror film special effects are created. Features a pre-show walk-through of set pieces and props used in various horror movies and recently a display honoring Halloween Horror Nights Orlando.
- Lucy: A Tribute, a walk-through museum featuring the best of "America's favorite redhead."
- Terminator 2: 3-D Battle Across Time is a 3D experience that combines a 3D film with an actual stage show based on the film Terminator 2.
Within this section's boundaries can be found architectural styles and sets that resemble the New York of yesterday or today.
- Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride is an indoor roller coaster inspired by The Mummy and its sequels.
- Twister...Ride it Out is a live-action attraction that uses special effects to simulate a tornado.
- The Blues Brothers Live is a live outdoor show with classic rock and soul songs performed by The Blues Brothers.
This section has two distinct themes; that of a mature coastal city and of a seasonal tourist town in New England.
- Beetlejuice's Rock and Roll Graveyard Revue is a live show featuring some of Universal's classic monsters, including Frankenstein, Dracula, the Bride of Frankenstein, and Wolfman.
- Disaster!: A Major Motion Picture Ride...Starring You!, puts you in the middle of a new Disaster movie made by fictional company Disaster Studios.
- Fear Factor LIVE! is a live stunt show that puts real park guests into the action of the former NBC series, Fear Factor.
- Jaws puts you aboard Captain Jake's Amity Boat Tours, where you'll journey around the island of Amity, hoping to avoid the menace known as JAWS.
World Expo takes its inspiration from the international expositions of the 20th century. It combines ultra-modern architecture as seen from the 1960s and today. Theming in the area includes various flags of world countries and of The Simpsons' characters.
- Men in Black: Alien Attack is an interactive dark ride adventure where you will join the ranks of the Men in Black to save New York City from a recent alien invasion.
- The Simpsons Ride is a motion simulator ride which takes you through the world of Krustyland with The Simpsons.
Woody Woodpecker's KidZoneEdit
Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone is the park's children's area, and is hosted by Woody Woodpecker, Universal Studios' mascot. The area was originally part of World Expo, but was divided into its own section with the opening of Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster in 1999.
- A Day in the Park with Barney is a live stage show featuring Barney and his friends.
- Fievel's Playland, a children's playground.
- Animal Actors On Location is a live stage show featuring trained animals.
- Curious George Goes to Town is a play area featuring two large water troughs that dump thousands of gallons of water on its visitors every ten minutes, and a ball area where guests can shoot squishee balls out of cannons.
- Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster is a junior coaster aimed toward children and their parents.
- E.T. Adventure, a dark ride based on the 1982 hit film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
- StarToons: 80's Rewind, a live show featuring classic Universal cartoon characters performing to 1980's songs. It is the third version of the show to be held at the park, the previous two versions being StarToons, in the Production Central area, and StarToons Character Meet and Greet, also in the Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone area.
A large lake located in the middle of the park.
- Universal's Cinematic Spectacular
Annual events Edit
Universal Studios Florida features several seasonal events throughout its operating calendar. Some are included in the daily park admission, while others are separately-ticketed events.
- Mardi Gras (February-April) is a parade and concert series inspired by New Orleans' Fat Tuesday party.
- Rock the Universe (September) is the park's Christian music festival, featuring two days of concerts with leading contemporary Christian, Christian rock, and Christian rap artists.
- Halloween Horror Nights Orlando (September-October) turns the park into a giant haunted playground, including scare zones, numerous haunted mazes and special themed shows.
- Macy's Holiday Parade (December) brings some of the most authentic balloons from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to Orlando in a month-long event that highlights the Christmas celebrations at Universal Studios.