The world famous Universal Studios Tour – the very heart and soul of Universal Studios Hollywood. Witness how a full-fledged movie studio operates and get the opportunity to see actual sets from your favorite movies and television shows. You’ll also experience attractions uniquely specific to the tram, such as King Kong 360 – 3D, Fast and the Furious: Extreme Close Up, and the now infamous JAWS.
Take a tour of the world famous Universal Studios backlot – one of the world’s biggest and busiest filmmaking destinations in the world. As you board a tram with a live guide, you’ll take a journey through a variety of Hollywood sets, soundstages, and attractions that you can only experience in Hollywood.
Sights include Universal’s large collection of soundstages, various streets of the world, King Kong 360-3D, Fast and The Furious, Earthquake, JAWS and more – and given the tentative nature of filming, it’s very likely that you’ll never experience the same tour twice.
The Studio Tour – the ride that literally started it all. Amongst Universal’s many changes over the years, the tour has always managed to preserve rich history of Universal Studios within the larger context of the movie industry. Considered one of “the greats” at Universal, read on to see what our editors have to say!
I’ve always considered the Studio Tour to be the very core of Universal’s entire theme park. Now, I know that’s a very blatant statement to make – but I really doubt there are many fans out there that’d disagree. Quite frankly, it’s what makes Universal Studios Hollywood, well, Universal Studios Hollywood. If you were to ask any well-traveled theme park goer what makes this park unique – they’d most likely point at this tour. It’s that significant.
That being said, I know countless friends, family and guests who skip the tour altogether because of its tour like nature. After all, you go to a theme park to have fun, right? And surely, after going to parks like Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, tours are tedious and oftentimes educational – and who would want to experience that.
Well, let me be the first to say that this tour is far from that. Yes, it is an hour long, and yes, it is at times educational, but to skip the tour based on that alone is missing the point. The Studio Tour contains half of Universal’s attractions – such as King Kong 360, Earthquake, JAWS, and Fast and Furious – which make the tour far more interesting and entertaining than one would lead you to believe. Above that, the Studio Tour actually takes you through a one of Hollywood’s busiest and biggest movie studios. While that phrase probably has a jaded meaning, Universal Studios is truly a filmmaker’s destination, and you’re almost guaranteed to see a set or prop from a movie you’ve seen in the past.
However, in the midst of all this praise, I will have to admit that I feel that the tour has shifted to a more impersonal approach over the years. While the additions of a camera and monitors allow you to view your tour guide live – the guides themselves have come to rely more and more on prerecorded content and “virtual” hosts. While this is certainly not a negative thing in itself, it does feel like you’re rushed in and out without much care. And for what it’s worth, the guides always seem compelled (or ordered to, depending on your point of view) to push for the longer, more expensive VIP Experience, which features a group of individuals on a trolley touring the backlot with a more intimate feel.
So with that in mind – see the tour, and make it the first thing you do when you enter the park. It’s truly a fascinating attraction like nobe other in the world. Just don’t be surprised if you’re in and out before you really know it.
Universal’s Studio Tour is history in itself. Learning more about Universal’s rich history will give you much more appreciation and excitement while experiencing the world famous Backlot Tram Tour. First of all, Universal is a movie studio! This is where you get to see where your favorite film and television studios are filmed. This is where the movie stars and production crews work day after day. This is the experience that you will not get anywhere else in the world, including Orlando. To love Universal, is to love the Studio Tour and all that it has spawned into the theme park experience. With classic attractions such as Parting of the Red Sea, Flash Flood, The Spinning Tunnel, and JAWS, the Studio Tour gives you an appreciation for what film makers can do to fool the audience with technology and special effects.
For those guests who are looking for theme park thrills and excitement, the Studio Tour does offer some very unique attractions which you cannot see anywhere else. However, it does not have the punch and thrill of a roller coaster or simulator. Its a tour! Many people who are very familiar with the standard “theme park” experience compare Universal for the same. They expect rides to be great and shows to be terrible. In reality, Universal offers a different experience from its theme park counterparts and excels where other parks fail. Instead, I would compare the Studio Tour to other movie studio tours instead of comparing it with theme park attractions. The Universal Studio Tour offers fun, thrill, and excitement which other standard movie studio tours cannot compare (Paramount, Disney, Warner Bros. etc). Universal has taken their tour to theme park heights and now have a large amount of guests to move throughout the backlot in a short amount of time.
With the latest addition of King Kong 360 – 3D, the Studio Tour has been given a breath of fresh air and has returned as a viable queue line wait to the theme park. Something new and technological has been long overlooked for the backlot tour for some time and it is nice to see people lining up for the tour once again. In the 70’s and 80’s, all effects were practical, and the Studio Tour was a great medium to experience those effects. With the world of CGI, it is very difficult to give a live audience that experience, but King Kong has done a great job for bringing the tour back to a superior experience.
For fans of classic attractions and history, the Studio Tour is for you! I highly recommend the VIP Tour for anyone who truly wants to see inside the movie studio and get the full effect of what a tour has to offer. For fans of thrill rides, the Studio Tour may lack some of that punch with the total length of the experience and possible delays which can happen during peak periods. Overall, this attraction is rated high by me for originality, uniqueness, and high re-ride value because of on site productions.
The Studio Tour is a combination of special effects, sets, props, loud noises, violent shaking, fog effects, water and fire. Guests will board large trams that wonder throughout the Universal backlot for approximately one hour.
– Because the Studio Tour does not operate during all park hours, it is recommended that you start your day with the tour. Typically speaking, the tour does close at the start of sundown – around 4:00 – 5:00 PM.
– The tour spans at least 45 minutes long. Because there are no breaks, we recommend using restrooms located at the side of the entrance below the escalators.
– Most believe trams 2 and 3 offer the best overall view of the entire tour.
– Belongings should be kept off the floor of the tram.
– Food and drinks are welcome. Camera and video camcorders are permitted.
The Studio Tour is always a tough attraction to gauge. While it’s definitely not “intense” when compared to other rides offered at Universal (such as Jurassic Park or Revenge of the Mummy), it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Expect very loud sounds and intense shaking, coupled with water and fire effects. So in that sense, we don’t recommend the Studio Tour for very young children.
Also keep in mind that again, the Studio Tour is one hour long – so if your child is finicky at times, this might not be the ride for them. Also, as a note of caution, if you do decide to bring your child on the tour, please situate them towards the center of the tram away from the outside gates.
We have plenty of resources at your disposal. If you have further questions regarding the tour, we encourage you to ask our friendly community members located on our forum.