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  1. #1

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    USH Attractions of the Past...

    I was born in 1978, so figure I've been going to Universal Studios Hollywood as long as my memory serves me. My parents took me to places before I could even walk on my own, and so happy they did. Concerning Universal Studios Hollywood, I've been at that place when the A-Team stunt show was popular, and just for one summer only in 1984, a Transformers interactive area existed. The tram at one point was originally caught near the current entrance but moved to the Lower Lot, then moved back up again, then moved back down for the construction of CityWalk in 1992, then moved up again to its current place.

    Thought it would be fun for those of us who like the place very much, have a visited history with the place, and like to share past attractions you remember? I personally wish I could upload all my thousand of vhs hours & 35mm film (by the time I was a teen, I had my own vhs-cam, and was the type who videotaped from the entrance to the end of the day) but there placed somewhere, and scattered =) But... With the grand access, and great thanks to the internet, some videos actually are available to recapture those moments in history of yesterday.

    So, we go...

    One that really stands out for me, besides my love for dinosaurs, and my favorite film of ALL TIME just happens to be under the Universal label, that is Jurassic Park. Spring 1994, Universal Studios Hollywood had a Jurassic Park exhibit, just a 3 month window to come face to face with the original props from the film. The original Jurassic Park dinosaur audio- animatronics from the film itself were also on display. Keep in mind, Jurassic Park by this time broke every box office record in the book, with over $700 million in world box office gross (and growing at that time), and was still in theaters after almost a year!

    To my surprise, the official Universal Studios Tour history webpage doesn't even list it (Universal Studios Hollywood - TheStudioTour), nor wikipedia but the only proof that the exhibit actually happened is the flyer & news article I kept...


    The Jurassic Park exhibit was located right behind the Backdraft attraction, Soundtage 31 (if my memory serves me right of the number). The wait was over 3 hours long, but OMG, it was an orgasm experience for any Jurassic Park fan.

    Sadly, they didn't allow people to take photos or video (surprising to me because UNI is mostly laid back on stuff like that). Anyway, once you entered the soundtage, you walk through a jungle path, walking through the original JP gates as seen in the film. Curve along to the right, was the original electrified fenced, with real tropical trees beyond it. All the mean while, sounds of the jungle and roars of dinosaurs were heard. Here, they describe how they created the T-Rex attack, after 5-8 minuets of that, your moved along, your in the exact re-creation of the JP laboratory. Where cast members dressed as JP employees show you how they created the birth of a Velociraptor in the film. They actually had the lab tubes with the raptor hatchlings in it, where you can puppeteer them, and see how they look on the big screen.

    Then guests can move along freely as we come close with the sick Triceratops as seen in the film. You also see the portion of the original Brachiosaurus (neck to head) that was used to act beside with the actors in the tree scene. Add costumes, scripts, props, sound effects, the process of digitally creating a breathing dinosaur. The Jurassic Park exhibit, in my opinion, was "the" BEST behind the scenes experience I ever experienced at Universal. It was noted that because it had been over two years since filming, the audio-animatronics (along with its skin) did in fact have a life span, and nearing death. The T-Rex, which I was hoping to see, but didn't because it was soon discarded after filming. Why? It went through so much in filming (it literally did everything a real animal could do), it was the water that sealed its death.

    During summer 1994, Universal Studios Hollywood was celebrating it's theme park, its 30th Anniversay, and for some reason. Hasn't made a celebration since, LOL, anyway... They had a show called SpectraBlast that was located in the Miami Vice arena (now Waterworld). It only ran for the celebration (summer 1994), and the theme of the show was the history of Universal. From water effects to lasers to flying UFO's, the Back to the future delorean flying over the audience (worked at times), and so much other cool stuff. It was all ran by a DJ, and it was a entertaining show. I have the whole show on tape, but can't find it but I found this footage of the show...
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb23HcZBXTQ]YouTube - ‪SpectraBlast Finale Universal Studios Hollywood Nights 1994‬‎[/ame]
    With that, here's a retro trip on the back-lot tram tour, who here remembers
    'The Battle of Galactica' attraction? The last battle was in 1992 but check out this cool web site that gives even details you ever wanted to know about the attraction, even the layout of the ride.... Battlestar Galactica Memorabilia
    Take a back seat, and enjoy the long forgotten attraction...
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1W5d4RXNu4]YouTube - ‪"Battle of Galactica" Tram Ride‬‎[/ame]
    Last edited by JMora; 08-09-2010 at 09:02 PM. Reason: typos

  2. #2

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    Re: USH Attractions of the Past...

    Wow! Thanks so much for posting this! I never knew they had a Jurassic Park exhibit in a sound stage! I was only two years old when they had that! Hey if you can, I would LOVE to see the whole SpectroBlast show posted! That show was literally months before I was born so I couldn't see it. :/ I've always been a big theme park history nerd and I appreciate you posting this very much!

    Just curious, is there any video on the opening ceremony for the JP ride? Also, I found a video that showed the grand opening of the ET ride; I think it's on YouTube somewhere...

    EDIT: It was on the Facebook page and it got taken down for some reason.

  3. #3

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    Re: USH Attractions of the Past...

    Quote Originally Posted by Freakazoid112 View Post
    Wow! Thanks so much for posting this! I never knew they had a Jurassic Park exhibit in a sound stage! I was only two years old when they had that! Hey if you can, I would LOVE to see the whole SpectroBlast show posted! That show was literally months before I was born so I couldn't see it. :/ I've always been a big theme park history nerd and I appreciate you posting this very much!

    Just curious, is there any video on the opening ceremony for the JP ride? Also, I found a video that showed the grand opening of the ET ride; I think it's on YouTube somewhere...

    EDIT: It was on the Facebook page and it got taken down for some reason.
    "Any video on the opening ceremony for the JP ride?" Ah, man... I was a diehard JP fan, and the ride opened on June 1996. At that time, the cable channel, E! Entertainment had a special coverage of the entire grand opening of the ride, over an hour worth's of time. Julie Brown (ex MTV VJ) hosted the show with another host I can't remember. It was a who's who of Hollywood riding the ride grand opening day coverage, and of course Steven Spielberg was on hand to open the gates (interviewed too). I recorded the whole thing on VHS but I have to find it, and then buy an electronic device to upload it to be made available for all to see over the world wide web.

    But here's footage of what was shown near the end...
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDosRpJiZHE]YouTube - ‪Jurassic Park: The Ride‬‎[/ame]

  4. #4

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    Re: USH Attractions of the Past...

    As far as the tram tour goes, I still remember Avalanche and the Runaway Train. The train is still on the tour!

    And who can forget Prop Plaza? In fact, who can forget how the tour used to run for a long time... it was nearly two hours, you'd get on one tram, be taken down to the lower lot (which was not access able at all in those days except via tram--the escalators were not built yet), get off the tram and so the sound stage tour, and then get on another tram to continue the tour. It all took up a large portion of your day!

    Another memory I have is of the old Wild West Stunt Show... a guy used to get stuck in quicksand, and was taken all the way down. Later, this stunt was done by an elevator in a semi-large pit. But earlier on, there was real sand he got stuck in and sucked under! I still don't know how they did it, does anyone know?

    And I'm fearing the collapsing bridge may become a part of the forgotten attractions, with Kong far overshadowing it in both location and ride experience.
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  5. #5

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    Re: USH Attractions of the Past...

    as a kid, i used to love fievel's play land! my cousins and i would run across the bridges and slide down the giant banana peel as the parents would take a break. that was my fun memory. and beetlejuice's rockin' graveyard show (i think that was the name).

  6. #6

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    Re: USH Attractions of the Past...

    Quote Originally Posted by JesterMn View Post
    And I'm fearing the collapsing bridge may become a part of the forgotten attractions, with Kong far overshadowing it in both location and ride experience.
    I've been told it would return, but like you, I have my reservations. It seems like such a steep turn just to get on it.

    Hopefully they decide to do keep it in the end. It may not be much, but it's such a great trip down nostalgia lane.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickering Bulb View Post
    and beetlejuice's rockin' graveyard show (i think that was the name).
    Wow, yeah. I remember that show. It's so odd seeing it at Florida nowadays. Same goes with E.T.
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  7. #7

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    Re: USH Attractions of the Past...

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickering Bulb View Post
    as a kid, i used to love fievel's play land! my cousins and i would run across the bridges and slide down the giant banana peel as the parents would take a break. that was my fun memory. and beetlejuice's rockin' graveyard show (i think that was the name).

    I so miss Beetlejuice's Rockin' Graveyard Revue, it was very entertaining, and surely missed. The show was moved around twice, first it was held on small outdoor stage near the current site of T2:3D before moving into the Castle Theatre around 1995 (where the current Special Effect show now resides).

    I came across two great videos of the entire show that were made as mementos for the cast, one was filmed at the original outdoor venue, and the other at Castle Theatre on the last year it was seen, 1999. Enjoy =)

    Beetlejuice's Rockin' Graveyard Revue - 1999
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyZX_y3kUWk]YouTube - Beetlejuice's Rockin' Graveyard Revue (Hollywood, 1999)[/ame]

    Beetlejuice's Rockin' Graveyard Revue - 1994
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sew8f-_VVHU]YouTube - Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue-ENTIRE SHOW (Hollywood, 1994)[/ame]
    Last edited by JMora; 08-12-2010 at 08:29 AM.

  8. #8

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    Re: USH Attractions of the Past...


    The 'Star Trek Adventure' (1988-1994), was housed where the current Shrek 4D attraction now resides on the Upper Lot of Universal Studios Hollywood. While I wasn't much of a fan of the original television show, this interaction stunt show was fun to watch. Guests who wanted to be a part of the show were asked at the beginning, once everybody was seated, 10 volunteers were selected from the audience. Each having different roles to play, from being a character with lines to being a special effects handler, all delivering a performance to real recording video cameras.

    Knowing how corny the original Star Trek show was, how the most simplest Hollywood tricks that were made in front of the camera (which this show capitalized on), was a entertaining to see. After all the scenes were captured on film, and with quick editing at the end of the performances. The finished product was shown to the audience. Audience members were able to purchase a copy of the video, those that were involved of course received a free copy.

    Here's video of the final product of someone's experience of Star Trek Adventure at Universal Studios Hollywood. With mix-use of original footage of television show, and with the footage of volunteers, it was a good laugh to watch.
    YouTube - Star Trek Adventure - Universal Studios

    Trivia: Some of the original costumes used in the 'Star Trek Adventure' can be seen today, displayed on the walls of the arcade on the Lower Lot.

  9. #9

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    Re: USH Attractions of the Past...


    A lot was happening in the summer of 1994 for Universal Studios Hollywood, and was a fun time to visit. Universal was in celebration mode with its 'Hollywood Nights' campaign, Universal Studios Hollywood was celebrating its 30th Anniversary (the theme park). From having the nighttime SpectraBlast show to Cinemystique: Illusions of the Night (a show performed by the Pendragons in the Castle Theatre, and was the winner of the “Best Magic Show of the Year” awarded by the Magic Castle). They even had a firework show, but all these events only occurred for 30th Anniversary.

    What also debuted that summer was the Flintstones Musical Revue (1994-1997). Riding on the success of the live-action adaption of the Flintsones film that very summer, and was in the making before the film hit theaters (hoping to have good tie-in experience). This show replaced the Star Trek Adventure show, which Flintstones Musical Revue was replaced with the current Shrek 4D, keeping most of the original structure of the venue.

    Flintstones Musical Revue was a musical show, tells the story of the world's most favorite pre-historic family adventures at Hollyrock (Hollywood). It had great set pieces, even a huge flying terrordactyl hovering over the audience but the show lacked the fun of Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue had. Given its 3 year run, it just might be the shortest run for any high-budgeted Universal attraction.

    I came across videos of the whole show, enjoy...
    YouTube - USH - 1995 Flinstone's Musical Show part 1 of 4
    YouTube - USH Flinstones Musical Show part 2 of 4 (1995)
    YouTube - USH Flinstones Musical Show part 3 of 4 (1995)
    YouTube - USH Flinstones Musical Show part 4 of 4 (1995)

  10. #10

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    Re: USH Attractions of the Past...

    That Flintstones show was replaced by a Nickelodeon show, starring the Rugrats at first. I worked there during that time, and watched the transition from Flintstones to Nickelodeon. I worked in the store next to the attraction and it also switched. This was, of course, before they had the Nickelodeon play area, so at the time it was the only such themed place in the park. I was also there for the construction and opening of Jurassic park, and had my fair share of stories, LOL!

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    Re: USH Attractions of the Past...

    I remember in 1985 they had a replica of KITT from Knight Rider you could sit in and KITT would talk to you. I sadly never had a go because while waiting in line, I got sick from the heat (it was like 110 that day). I was ok after my mom took me into the bathroom & splashed cold water on me, but after that I didn't want to get back in line for it and that area was gone when I went back in 1989.l

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    Re: USH Attractions of the Past...

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    That Flintstones show was replaced by a Nickelodeon show, starring the Rugrats at first. I worked there during that time, and watched the transition from Flintstones to Nickelodeon. I worked in the store next to the attraction and it also switched. This was, of course, before they had the Nickelodeon play area, so at the time it was the only such themed place in the park. I was also there for the construction and opening of Jurassic park, and had my fair share of stories, LOL!

    please share these stories!

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    Re: USH Attractions of the Past...

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    That Flintstones show was replaced by a Nickelodeon show, starring the Rugrats at first. I worked there during that time, and watched the transition from Flintstones to Nickelodeon. I worked in the store next to the attraction and it also switched. This was, of course, before they had the Nickelodeon play area, so at the time it was the only such themed place in the park. I was also there for the construction and opening of Jurassic park, and had my fair share of stories, LOL!
    Totally forgot about that show, was short lived, wasn't it?

  14. #14

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    Re: USH Attractions of the Past...

    The two things that really stand out from my childhood are the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1rKWc1JMtc&feature=related"]YouTube- Battlestar Galactica Battle of Galactica Studio promo[/ame]

    and a playground where you could lift a full sized van, just like the Six Million Dollar Man.
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    Re: USH Attractions of the Past...

    Quote Originally Posted by gurgi View Post
    That Flintstones show was replaced by a Nickelodeon show, starring the Rugrats at first. I worked there during that time, and watched the transition from Flintstones to Nickelodeon.
    I remember that show. Why did they ever replace it?
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