Universal Studios Hollywood’s World-Famous Behind-the-Scenes Studio Tour Attraction, Which has Entertained More Than 200 Million Guests Worldwide, Celebrates a Milestone 60 Years
with Exciting Entertainment Planned for Spring and Summer
The Iconic Attraction was the Genesis of Universal Studios Hollywood and Set the Stage for the Development of Universal Destinations & Experiences Global Theme Parks
Universal City, California, January 23, 2024 – In 1964, Universal Studios Hollywood, originally referred to as Universal City Studios, rolled out its fleet of Glamor Trams, inviting tourists to “see film rushes of current productions, both feature and television, being made at Universal City,” according to the attraction’s original press release issued on July 4, 1964.
It was a novel concept to invite the public to be a fly on the wall of movie and television production. After all, no one else had ever conceived of the idea. The iconic red and white Glamor Trams, with their ruffled awnings, were staged five times a day, each lasting just over two hours, Monday through Friday.
2024 celebrates the Studio Tour’s milestone 60 years, the more than 200 million guests who have experienced this attraction and, ultimately, Universal Studios Hollywood’s storied history. More information will be shared soon highlighting the exciting program planned for spring and summer in support of the Studio Tour’s 60th anniversary.
During its inaugural year, behind-the-scenes special effects featured a brief make-up demonstration, a display of costumes by renowned costume designer Edith Head, an energetic two-man stunt performance and a tour of picturesque outdoor film sets. The following year, Universal expanded its scope of entertainment to feature a series of live entertainment that included a stunt show, animal show and screen test comedy theatre—all a precursor to what would eventually lead to the development of the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park.
The point of entry for visiting guests at that time was at The Tourist Center, located at the Universal Commissary Building, where make-up artist demonstrations, trick photography and special props were on display.
That was 60 years ago, and while much has transpired in six decades, the Studio Tour has remained true to its roots of immersing guests in the awe-inspiring world of movie-making magic and providing remarkable access to production sets on a real studio lot. The once celebrated Glamor Trams are long gone and have been replaced with a contemporary 60-minute experience, infused with advanced technology that enlightens and entertains millions of film buffs, theme park fans and tourists alike visiting from across the globe. With its sights on the future, the Studio Tour is in the midst of converting its fleet of 21 diesel-hydraulic engines to electric trams to help reduce carbon emissions and improve the guest experience by reducing noise associated with the diesel-hydraulic engine.
And yet, aspects of the Glamor Tram have remained constant over this astonishing six decade span.
Studio Tour Guides were central to the operations of the Glamor Tram tours then and remain vital to the success of the Studio Tour today. Numerous times a day, professionally trained Studio Tour Guides interact with guests, educating them on the inner workings of the movie and television lot, armed with insider information and first-hand accounts, and entertain them with tours in both English and Spanish.
The role of a Studio Tour Guide has become a highly sought-after position in recent years with candidates auditioning from around the globe for a coveted spot – and for good reason. Studio Tour Guides have evolved over time into a Hollywood “apprenticeship.” Future filmmakers, budding actors and executives in-the-making are empowered to take advantage of a variety of opportunities and Hollywood-insider perks, that may include intimate group symposiums with prestigious industry professionals, free acting classes, participation in an actor’s showcase with top industry casting directors and chances for job placement positions within the company.
Dozens of producers, directors, performers, movie and TV professionals as well as industry executives began their careers as Studio Tour Guides, and to this day, rank among the leaders shepherding the Studio Tour and Universal Studios Hollywood into the future.
The Studio Tour of today continues to build on its rich history and like many great blockbuster films, creates a foundation for the next big sequel…and therein lies the origins of Universal Studios Hollywood.
From ushering guests past iconic sets from the renowned film Psycho directed by Alfred Hitchcock – one of the very first film sets accessible for visitors to see up close and personal in 1964 – to the evolution of Universal Studios Hollywood, immersing guests in innovative, groundbreaking rides and attractions themed to compelling film and television properties, Studio Tour was “act one” in the development of the notable Universal Destinations & Experiences (UDX) portfolio of global theme parks.
As the landmark Studio Tour turns a milestone 60, the juxtaposition of then and now shines a spotlight on its evolution to the theme park of today.
Beginning with the modern day, SUPER NINTENDO WORLD™--touted as a revolutionary addition to Universal Studios Hollywood when it expanded its scope of movie and television themed attractions to include the popular Super Mario™ video game property—celebrates its one-year anniversary.
This collaboration with Nintendo was a placemaking endeavor for the global entertainment destination when it debuted the first SUPER NINTENDO WORLD in the United States. From the moment guests pass through the signature giant green pipe, they are transported into the Mushroom Kingdom to become a part of its exhilarating universe.
SUPER NINTENDO WORLD is a visually spectacular land, filled with vibrancy of colors and architectural ingenuity and where guests can gather to experience the groundbreaking “Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge.” This technologically advanced ride, inspired by the popular Mario Kart™ video game series, seamlessly fuses cutting-edge augmented reality with projection mapping technology and actual set pieces along a moving ride track. With its broad cross generational appeal, SUPER NINTENO WORLD envelops guests in its unique world complete with interactive activities, Toadstool Cafe™ signature restaurant, 1-UP Factory™ store and walk-about characters: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad.
In partnership with Universal Creative, the visionary design and development division of Universal Destinations & Experiences, Universal Studios Hollywood has crafted an ambitious blueprint for its future. The historic journey is nothing short of remarkable and the evolution of breakthrough, next-generation thrill rides has continued to revolutionize Universal Studios Hollywood, renowned for its innovative collaborations with influential Hollywood filmmakers and creatives, including Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Michael Bay, Chris Meledandri, Jordan Peele and Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo’s creative team, whose credibility reinforce Universal Studios Hollywood’s authenticity
Over the past 60 years, many rides have opened, and others were bid a fond farewell. For a walk down memory lane, here’s look back at some of the many milestone rides and attractions that have helped to shape the destination:
These just touch on the spectrum of adventure at Universal Studios Hollywood as the entertainment options are inclusive of daily theme park operations and acclaimed seasonal and special events. From its engaging character interactions, popular Halloween Horror Nights and Grinchmas™ celebrations to the VIP Experience, a premium off-shoot of the iconic Studio Tour with enhanced behind-the-scenes access, there is so much to see and do at Universal Studios Hollywood…with much more on the way.
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