Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour Turns 60

Universal Studios Hollywood is not just famous for its blockbuster movies, but also for its rides and theme park lands based on entertainment powerhouses like Super Nintendo World and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. However, one iconic attraction that has been drawing visitors for decades is the world-famous Studio Tour. Since its opening in 1964, Universal Studios Hollywood has taken over 200 million guests behind the scenes of real, working TV and film productions for a unique and immersive look at how movie magic is made.

The Studio Tour has come a long way since its humble beginnings. In its inaugural year, the tour took guests on two-hour trips through the studio’s various film sets on board “GlamorTrams.” Guests had the opportunity to visit famous sets like the Bates’ house from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 movie “Psycho” and learn about the secrets of movie making through special effects makeup demonstrations, costume displays, and stunt performances. As Universal released new films and developed new special effects, the tour continued to evolve, adding more staged events and attractions along the way.

By the late 1970s, the Studio Tour had grown in size and popularity, prompting Universal Studios Hollywood to expand its offerings and establish itself as a full-fledged theme park. Guests could now experience iconic movie moments such as the parting of the Red Sea from “The Ten Commandments,” a thrilling encounter with a runaway train, and an attack from Bruce, the shark from “Jaws.” The tour became more immersive and interactive, allowing visitors to truly feel like they were part of the movies they loved.

The 1980s and 1990s marked a period of significant expansion for Universal Studios Hollywood. The park introduced shows like the Star Trek Adventure and meet-and-greets with beloved characters like He-Man and the Transformers. In 1991, the park opened its first traditional theme park ride, E.T. Adventure, followed by attractions like Jurassic Park – The Ride, play areas for kids, and stunt shows based on popular films like “Waterworld” and “The Terminator.” This era also saw the opening of Universal Studios Florida (now Universal Orlando Resort), which drew inspiration from the Hollywood Studio Tour and introduced stand-alone rides based on films like “Jaws” and “King Kong.”

Today, the Studio Tour remains a fan-favorite attraction that is practically synonymous with Universal Studios Hollywood. Visitors can embark on an hour-long journey through famous sets from movies like “Back to the Future” and “War of the Worlds.” They can also witness iconic special effects demonstrations that have been thrilling guests for decades, including the unforgettable encounter with Bruce the shark. The tour features moments inspired by both classic and newer films, such as a high-speed car chase with the stars of “The Fast and the Furious” and a visit to the Jupiter’s Claim set from the film “Nope.” On lucky days, visitors may even get a glimpse of a live production taking place.

While the Studio Tour has evolved over the years, it remains a pioneering look into the world of movie-making. Learning insider secrets and witnessing the creativity and technical know-how that goes into building sets and creating special effects only enhances the magic of watching movies. It allows visitors to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship behind the scenes and gain a deeper understanding of the movie-making process.

As the Studio Tour celebrates its 60th anniversary, Universal Studios Hollywood has planned special entertainment during the spring and summer months to commemorate this milestone. Visitors can expect unique experiences and surprises that pay tribute to this iconic attraction. Universal Studios Hollywood continues to be a place where guests can truly “ride the movies,” and the Studio Tour embodies this sentiment like no other ride in the park.

In conclusion, Universal Studios Hollywood’s Studio Tour has been captivating audiences for over 60 years. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at real, working TV and film productions and provides a unique perspective on the magic of movie-making. From its humble beginnings as a two-hour tour through film sets, the Studio Tour has evolved into a full-fledged theme park attraction, featuring iconic movie moments and immersive experiences. As Universal Studios Hollywood continues to innovate and entertain, the Studio Tour remains a beloved and iconic part of the park’s offerings.

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