Vacation Like You Mean It”

When Universal Studios opened on June 7, 1990, my wife and I visited the theme park for the grand opening.  At that time, things were complicated as many attractions truly were not working properly. During that time, there were only 5 themed areas of the park (The front Lot, Production Central, New York, San Francisco, and Expo Center).  There were only 4 attractions That I remember they were; Kongfrontation, Earthquake, E.T. Adventure and Jaws.  What many people didn’t know was that in 1988 and 1989 Universal allowed guest to tour the movie set areas and see some of the construction of the park.  It was unfortunate that there were several delays for the grand opening.

Production Central

     As you enter the theme park today, you will notice Production Central.  There is a large gift shop just in front of you as well a smaller one to the right of you.  The street is a long path that will take you to revenge of the mummy roller coaster.  First on the left side of the street however, is the attraction, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.  On your right directly across from the Minions is Shrek 4D.  At the end of the building on the left as you pass the minions, you will see the roller coaster, Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket.  Finally as you pass the music plaza stage( where the concerts are held during special nights), you will see the Universal Studios Classic Monsters café on the right.  If you take a right down this street, you will run into Transformers: The Ride-3D.  On the left side of the street however, is the new Jimmy Fallon’s Race through New York attraction.

New York

     The next area is New York and has the roller coaster, Revenge of the Mummy.  Just across from that entrance is the Blues Brothers Show.  There are two restaurants in this themed area (Finnegan’s Bar and Grill and Louie’s Italian Restaurant).  There happens to be a Starbucks coffee at the end of the area and a Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream shop as well. 

San Francisco    

  This area is currently under construction for the new attraction, the Fast and the Furious.  However, there are several restaurants that are open including the full service restaurant, Lombard’s Seafood Grille.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

     As you approach the area of Harry Potter, you will the entrance to the Hogwarts Express – Kings cross Stationon your left.  In front of you is the Knight Bus parked out front with an attendant.  Going into the Harry Potter area is through an archway on the left where you can hear bricks moving.  On your left after passing through the wall is Knockturn Alley.  There is a restaurant, the Leaky Cauldron which offers counter service also in this area.  Olivanders sells wands and is directly across from the attraction, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

World Expo

     Leaving the World of Harry Potter and continuing on the path, you will come to this area known as World Expo.  The first attraction you come to is the Fear Factor Live where you can participate in the game, if you dare.  The next attraction is the Men in Black Alien Attack. 

Springfield: Home of the Simpsons

     As you continue the path heading back towards the entrance /Exit of the park, you will next come to Kang & Kodos Twirl N Hurl.  The last attraction is the Simpsons Ride.  There is a fast food counter service restaurant and a Moe’s Tavern.  There is even a Duff Brewery bar.

Woody Woodpecker’s Kid Zone

    On your left you will see a street that heads to an Animal Actor’s on Location stadium.  If you continue down this street you will be heading to the Woody Woodpecker’s Kid Zone.  There will be an attraction, E.T. Adventure and Fievel’s Play land.  Continuing further into this area, you will then come to A Day in the Park with Barney and Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster.  Finally in the back of the area is Curious George Goes To Town.


Coming out of this area back where the Animal stadium is (now on your right), if you turn left and continue, you will see Café La Bamba.  In front of you there is a show called Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show.  Across from that is the Mel’s Drive In quick service restaurant.  If you were to turn right you will go into Production Central again.  If you continue down this street however, you will come to Terminator 2 3-D.

Click here for the E-Book for Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure