The Universal Studios Florida is one of United States? most popular amusement parks located in Orlando and found within Universal Orlando Resort. The amusement park was inaugurated on June 7, 1990 and it invites visitors to ?Jump into the Action? with its various entertainment, leisure and recreation offerings themed around movies and televisions. It draws in approximately 5.4 million guests annually making it the 8th most frequented amusement park in the country.
Not like Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles which was initially just a television and film studio then was later developed into an amusement park, Universal Studios Florida was really meant to be an amusement park and production studio at the same time. It is also the first theme park that Universal Studios built from the ground up. A major difference between Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Florida are its attractions. In Hollywood, the attractions are integrated into the studio tours. For example, people taking the tour will be brought near a shoreline and will then be ?attacked? by the infamous shark Jaws. In Florida, Jaws is a standalone attraction where visitors hop on a boat and are taken into make-believe Amity Harbor where they come face to face with the ferocious sea creature.
The design of Universal Studios Florida showcases six themed sections surrounding a large central lagoon. The lagoon is the venue of Universal 360: A Cinesphere Spectacular. This is a seasonal multi-sensory spectacle which involves fireworks, projections and laser shows depicting the scenes from different Universal films.
The park?s primary entrance is Production Central which houses a group of film soundstages. In 2003, two Shrek attractions opened is this part of Universal Studios Florida namely Shrek 4-D which gives guests a state-of-the-art cinematic adventure featuring Shrek?s escapades during the first two movies and Donkey?s Photo Finish wherein visitors are given the chance to meet their favorite Shrek characters. Another popular ride found here is the Hollywood Rip, Ride Rockit which is a one-of-a-kind roller coaster experience coupled with a customizable soundtrack. It also features a video sharing capacity wherein guests can upload a video of their ride to the internet. Production Central is also the spot where most of the restaurants and souvenir shops can be found.
Beside Production Central is New York. It was named is such a way because it was designed to resemble the urban landscape of New York City. The most popular attraction in this part of the park is Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride which is of course inspired by The Mummy film series. The 1996 hit movie Twister inspired Twister?Ride it Out which simulates a tornado and challenges the people to ?ride it out.?
The third section of the park is called San Francisco or Amity which embodies both the mature bay city of SaFo and a not so popular tourist spot in New England. This is where the Jaws attraction is located. The entrance to this attraction displays Jaws hanged from a wooden frame as if it was caught by fishermen. There is also Beetlejuice?s Rock and Roll Graveyard Revue ? a live performance featuring the popular monsters of Universal?s classic horror movies including Dracula, Frankenstein and Wolfman.
Next on the list is World Expo which takes its cue from 20th century global expositions. Here, one can enjoy the Men in Black: Alien Attack attractions wherein visitors can join a dark mission to save New York from alien invaders.
Tots will definitely enjoy Woody Woodpeckers Kidzone which houses a junior roller coaster called Woody Woodpecker?s Nuthouse Coaster. It also features amazing playgrounds such as Fievel?s Playland which include a 200-foot water slide and Curious George Goes to Town play area that has two big water troughs that drops 500 gallons of water on the guests in intervals.
Rounding up Universal Studios Florida is Hollywood which is really like being transported to where the biggest movie stars converge. Fans of The Terminator movie franchise will surely enjoy a 3D show coupled with a live stage performance.
Aside from these attractions, several events are held here including Macy?s Holiday Parade, the Mardi Gras, a summer concert series and Halloween horror nights.