UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD’S NEWLY-ENHANCED “STUDIO TOUR” ATTRACTION
The Studio Tour
Universal Studios Hollywood’s newly-enhanced behind-the-scenes Studio Tour attraction consists of a fast-paced 45-minute journey through the Studio’s 415-acre movie and TV production complex. With access to working movie sets, sound stages and exciting special effects attractions, the Studio Tour is designed to offer guests an insider’s peek at an authentic working Hollywood studio while providing a unique and exciting entertainment experience.
Each tour is helmed by a film-savvy Studio Tour Guide, armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of the Studio’s history, as well as up-to-date notes on productions currently shooting on the “lot.” To date, the Studio Tour has taken over 125 million visitors world-wide behind the scenes. And, in June 2006, the Studio Tour will bring guests even closer to the “reel” Hollywood with the introduction of transforming new features, a virtual remake of Hollywood’s longest-running hit.
The enhancements represent the most sweeping changes made to the “Studio Tour” in over a decade and the greatest number of new additions to the world-famous attraction since the first trams rolled along the landmark Universal back lot in 1964.
Oscar® and Emmy®-winning superstar Whoopi Goldberg
becomes a virtual “tour guide” with the addition of lively new narration. Whoopi’s observations will be seen on the monitors placed in each Tram car and will augment the “live” narration provided by Universal’s famed Studio Tour Guides.
With an insider’s perspective, Whoopi Goldberg, who worked on the Universal lot early in her film career- will bring her unique sense of humor to a series of video highlights that thread the Tour elements into a cohesive experience. Whoopi’s commentary on back-lot landmarks marks the first time the Studio Tour has been “hosted” by a single personality and brings an added element of continuity to the experience.
The Fast & The Furious Extreme Close-Up :
A visually spectacular chase sequence inspired by the much anticipated “Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift” film is an exciting new addition to the Studio Tour. Utilizing advanced robotics and state-of-the--art computer generated “previsualization” technology -- a technique used to define and refine complicated chase sequences -- the new tram experience will thrust guests into “in–your-face” close-up range of the pulse-pounding, rubber-burning underground world of drift street racing.
Guests will be mesmerized with an awesome display of explosive action as two drift-racing vehicles, each attached to gigantic robotic arms, careen alarmingly out of control, approaching the Studio Tour trams at speeds of up to 45 mph. Upon impact, the cars explode in a plume of fire and smoke which is dispersed 25 feet in the air and completely envelops the 10,000 sq ft. outdoor arena.
The specially-rigged cars each weigh only 500-lbs (compared to the 3,300 lbs. weight of an actual vehicle). The vehicles have been stripped and designed to accommodate the nimble motion control required for breathtakingly-orchestrated movements.
In a grand finale, the experience culminates in a dexterous “automotive dance demonstration” of intricate programming set to a toe-tapping hip-hop beat, facilitated by a revolutionary motion control simulation system.
King Kong: With help from the Oscar®-winning artisans of New Zealand's Weta Workshop Ltd., Studio Tour guests will experience an update of a classic film technique as they pass within a few feet of "King Kong's" S.S. Venture tramp steamer, an exact replica of the film's “bigature” prop.
“Bigatures” are large-scale, highly-detailed miniatures which can be filmed at close range and manipulated in ways not possible with full-size props, digital generation or the more commonly used miniatures. This big-miniature offers the ultimate in realism when combined with traditional and digital effects.
With the movie-making elements properly staged, Studio Tour guests will experience a scene lifted from the blockbuster. Set against a panoramic backdrop of the primordial environs of Skull Island, they will observe the S.S. Venture as it navigates through a dense marine fog. The moment will be further punctuated by the deafening, primal roar of “The Eighth Wonder of the World,” Kong.
Behind the scenes, high tech equipment is working to ensure flawless scenic execution. To precisely interpret unpredictable weather climate and output consistent and realistic fog, the creative team at Universal Studios Hollywood created breakthrough technology, linking an atomized water system to a newly installed, on-site weather station. By accurately reading the relative humidity in the air, the creative team was effectively able to produce a high pressure fog system and attain the desired special effect: an impenetrable fog obscured island and a true sense of realism.
“War of the Worlds & Other Famous Movie Sets: Immersion in an authentic Hollywood experience continues as the Studio Tour traverses a variety of original movie sets including Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster, “War of the
Passing through a set left completely intact from one of the film’s most highly recognizable scene, guests aboard the Studio Tour will observe a small town devastated by an elaborately choreographed 747 jetliner crash. Maintaining scenic authenticity, a series of special effects dramatically enhance the surrounding ruins with still-smoking wreckage and shattered debris.
In true Hollywood fashion, the “War of the Worlds” set is sandwiched among other original sets, including those from “Jurassic Park: The Lost World,” the snow-covered town of Whoville from “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” and the Psycho house and Bates motel from the classic thriller, “Psycho.” Several decades of blockbuster movie history are crossed in just a few hundred yards.
Flash Flood: The “Flash Flood” attraction is designed to simulate the wrath of Mother Nature during a torrential down pour and on cue, pelts the tram with “movie rain.” Culminating in a devastating flash flood visual effect, the attraction will become an even wetter experience as 40,000-thousand of gallons of water are dispensed and strategically placed new water canons heighten the drama.
Jurassic Park: Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster “Jurassic Park” not only lives on as a wildly popular Universal Studios Hollywood theme park ride, but the epic adventure also breathes life on the Studio Tour with many of the film’s original props staged roadside for guests to observe first-hand.
Taking up residency amid the original cars from the film, the giant camper that precariously dangled over a precipice, a lot of dinosaur cages and dinosaur carcasses, will be a herd of realistic and life-size Dilophosaurus dinosaurs. These animated “spitters” as they are more commonly referred to in the film will emerge from their stealth spots, and make themselves known to guests through lightning-fast lunges and projectile ”spitting.”
Famous Fast Cars: Famous fast cars will find a permanent parking spot
along the Studio Tour route in an engaging display of over 16 recognizable prop vehicles that have appeared in such cult-film favorites as:
“The Fast & The Furious”
“Back to the Future” -the DeLorean, a futuristic Edsel and Biff’s Cadillac
“Serenity” - the Mule
“Animal House” - the Death Mobile
“The Blues Brothers”- the Blues Mobile
“The Mummy”- the Dusenberg
“The Little Rascals” - the ‘Norman Schwarzkopf’ go-cart
“Magnum P.I.”- the Ferrari
“Jurassic Park” -- the off-road Mercedes SUV
Marx Brothers movies - a 1932 Ford Model A
Technological Features: Each Tram is outfitted with state-of-the-art LCD flat screen monitors that vividly illustrate through a variety of clips where many movies and television shows were filmed on the Universal lot. This unique feature invites guests to see how a set or portion of the lot actually appeared in a film scene. With over 500 clips at each Studio Tour Guides finger tips, guests can enjoy a different tour every time they make an excursion.
Studio Tour Duration: 45-minutes
Seating Capacity: 174 guests
Studio Tour Guides: The Studio Tour attraction is helmed by savvy Studio Tour guides. Each, armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of the studio’s history as well its current production schedule, provide commentary and answer questions as they lead guests through Universal’s world-famous working movie sets and facades, soundstages and special effects attractions.