Florida Guide > Universal Parks
All about Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios in Florida started life in June 1990 inspired by its fellow location in California, namely Universal Studios Hollywood. From the very beginning it was decided that the facility take on the role of both theme park and studio ‘all in one’. This differs from the California venue in as much as that location started life as a studio and ‘migrated’ to include a theme park. With Disney and other parks already established in Florida, combined with the high level of tourism, it was the obvious location choice. The park now shares its location with Universal’s Islands of Adventure which opened in 1999 and is discussed in a separate article.
The studios promote the visitor theme of ‘riding the movies’ with a wide choice of rides, attractions and shows. However, in addition to these, the location is also a fully working production studio and has been used for movies, commercials, music videos and television programmes. Nickelodeon are one of the biggest competitor users of the facility.
A number of the attractions are inspired by the original park such as the studio tour and the infamous ‘Jaws’ ride. However the Floridian location has also branched out to include other characters through agreements with competitor studios. These include Columbia Pictures, Nickelodeon, 20th Century Fox and Dreamworks, with attractions such as Men in Black, Jimmy Neutron, the amazing new Simpsons ride and Shrek.
Like many theme parks Universal Studios is split into different sections, consisting of Production Central, Hollywood, New York, San Francisco/Amity, World Expo, Woody’s Kidzone and the Lagoon. Each section comprises of attractions, places to eat, shopping and a number of character appearances.
What constitutes a favourite ride is very much a personal opinion and all of the attractions are very professionally put together. Our favourites include the following:-
• Beetlejuice’s Rock and Roll Graveyard Revue
• Earthquake (now replaced by ‘Disaster’)
• E. T. Adventure
• Jimmy Neutrons Nicktoon Blast
• Men in Black
• Revenge of the Mummy (Indoor rollercoaster)
• Shrek 4D
• Terminator 2 (3D)
• The Blues Brothers Live
• The Simpsons Ride
Planned for 2009 is a new roller coaster, Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit. This is expected to be a new experience coaster with custom soundtracks and the ability to upload a video of the experience to the internet.
For those that have not visited Universal recently the old machine dispensed ‘virtual queuing’ system where a time was reserved on a particular attraction has been changed. This is now replaced with a ‘Universal Express’ and ‘Universal Express Plus’ pass which allows faster queuing options than a standard ticket. There is an additional cost for this facility and details can be found on this website at http://www. park-tickets. com/UniversalExpress. aspx
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