Universal Studios theme parks began as a simple studio lot tour when Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle moved his burgeoning film studio from New York to Lankershim Township in the Hollywood Hills. His grand opening in 1915 was a gala event and he invited the public to visit his Movie City. During the grand opening, visitors were regaled with a western stunt show, a simulated flash flood and the demolition of a bridge. These three shows would become staples of the Universal Studios Tour. The tour would be put on hiatus when sound was added because the studio visitors would make too much noise as they watched filming in the background.
Universal Studios: A New Era
In 1964, the studio tour returned much in the same format it would occupy for the next two decades. Visitors would take a 90 minute journey through the sets and lots of the movie city and enjoy such features as the Parting of the Red Sea, the Flash Flood and would eventually add Jaws, King Kong, Earthquake and more. Other shows and attractions actually passed away into the lexicon of film and television history including The Runaway Train, the Ice Tunnel and the Battle of Galactica.
In 1990, Universal Studios expanded their theme parks to Orlando, Florida and invited visitors to "ride" the movies. The franchise has since expanded around the world with rides and attractions that reach back to that first back lot tour in 1915.
Universal Studios Theme Parks
- Universal Studios Hollywood
- Universal Orlando Resort
- Universal Studios Florida
- Islands of Adventure
- Universal Studios Japan
- Universal Studios Singapore
- Wet 'N Wild (Orlando Florida)
Upcoming Universal Studios Attractions
Universal Studios is always updating their attractions at their theme parks around the world in order to attract repeat and new visitors. In 2008 and 2009, a number of new projects were announced for opening 2010 and 2011 including:
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (Islands of Adventure)
- Dragon Challenge (Islands of Adventure)
- Flight of the Hippogriff (Islands of Adventure)
- Ollivander's Interactive Experience (Islands of Adventure)
- Transformers (Universal Studios Singapore and Universal Studios Hollywood)
- Saturday Night Live Experience (Universal Studios Florida)
Universal Studios History
Universal Studios is a component of NBC Universal and is one of the oldest of the American film studios still in production. The studios were opened in 1912 by founder Carl Laemmle and became a part of the NBC Universal conglomerate in 2004.