theStudioTour.com

Universal Studios Hollywood

Starway (1991 - present)

View of the Lower Lot from the Starway (photo by Josh James, August 2006)
View of the Lower Lot from the Starway (photo by Josh James, August 2006)

Although not strictly an attraction, the Starway escalator, which joins the Upper Lot ("Entertainment Center") with the Lower Lot ("Studio Center"), provides some amazing views of the Universal backlot.
It opened in 1991 as part of a massive expansion of the park.
Before the Jurassic Park River Adventure ride was added in 1996, the Studio Tour tram departed just under the Starway (see photo, below).

Early view of the lower section of the Starway, showing the tram loading station, and area before Jurassic Park (photo from www.seeing-stars.com)
Early view of the lower section of the Starway, showing the tram loading station, and area before Jurassic Park (photo from www.seeing-stars.com)

The soundtrack played on the escalators has recently changed. Until June 2006, the soundtrack was provided by the fictional radio station "K-USH", with spoof quizzes featuring Universal soundbytes and soundtrack excerpts, along with announcements about escalator safety. If you rode the Starway more than once a day, it got a little cheesy and familiar. Coming back up after a couple of hours on the lower lot, you invariably heard something you heard on the way down.

K-USH Audio (1997 - 2006)

In June 2006, a new recording debuted featuring NBC's Access Hollywood. This was part of a park-wide increase in NBC branding which included adding Access Hollywood theming to the Studio Tour.

Total length: ¼ mile
Time from Upper Lot to Lower lot: 7-8 minutes

Do Not Sit On The Escalator (Photo by Chris Barr, ejectmedia.net, 2006)
Do Not Sit On The Escalator (Photo by Chris Barr, ejectmedia.net, 2006)
Starway, from the Lower Lot (April 2006)
Starway, from the Lower Lot (April 2006)

The Starway in 1997 (photo by bjoubert)

See also Panoramic Photos (using Quicktime VR)

The Starway in 1997 (photo by bjoubert)

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