One of the things that the Universal theme parks have in common, is their incredible rides and while both the Universal Orlando theme parks and Universal Studios Hollywood have plenty of these, the latter has one big difference. Know what it is? Universal Studios Hollywood is not just a theme park but also a working film studio!
Over the years, countless movies have been shot at the park, and it’s still used for filming today. At Universal Studios Hollywood, you can literally step straight into the movies, as you get the chance to see iconic film sets up close on the Studio Tour. Here are just a few of the sets you can visit during your time at the park…
If you’re a film fanatic, you’re sure to be familiar with Psycho. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this iconic movie became one of the most famous horror films of all time, so of course it is one of the highlights of the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood. You’ll go past the eerie Bates Motel, with its vacant rooms and the car from the movie still parked outside. Then you’ll see the infamous Psycho house- home to creepy hotel owner Norman Bates. If you look closely, you might just see Norman’s mother looking out of the upstairs window!
2. Desperate Housewives
One of the most popular sets to visit at Universal Studios Hollywood, is Wisteria Lane. This fictional street features in the hit TV show Desperate Housewives, with its fascinating residents being the focus of the show. On the Studio Tour, fans will be able to see the white picket fences and houses where stars like Eva Longoria and Teri Hatcher lived, but you might be surprised to see that some houses on the street are just facades. Desperate Housewives was filmed at the studios for around 8 years, and while some changes are being made to the street so that it can be used in new movies, there’s still so much to see.
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
This is by far the most colourful set you'll find at Universal Studios Hollywood, and kids (and big kids!) are sure to love it. The Grinch set includes 3 vibrant buildings that you’ll recognise as being part of Whoville, the cheerful town that’s home to the Whos. The houses you can see on the Studio Tour were used in the scenes were ‘Santa’ aka the Grinch was climbing down the unsuspecting residents’ chimneys. During production, the amazing sets were decorated with an incredible 1,938 candy canes and enough paper snow to cover 9 football pitches!
4. War of the Worlds
Whether you’ve seen this famous movie or not, you can’t fail to be amazed by the impressive set. As the Studio Tour takes you past, you’ll be awestruck by the sight of the aeroplane crash scene that featured in the movie. To create the epic scene, a real commercial 747 aircraft (worth around $60,000) was bought and chopped into pieces, before being transported to Universal Studios Hollywood! The cast and crew, including director Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise, were shooting on the enormous outdoor set for 3 days, to capture the perfect catastrophic scene. The set has remained the same ever since, and guests can get a real close up look at it on the tour.
5. New York Street
Never been to New York? Well, the Studio Tour will make you feel as though you’re walking through the streets of the Big Apple. There’s several different areas to explore, with New York Street being one of the most recognisable. Over the years, several movies, TV shows and even music videos that you thought were filmed in New York City, were actually filmed here at Universal Studios Hollywood. Scenes from the 1969 movie ‘Change of Habit’ starring Elvis Presley were filmed on New York Street, as well as famous scenes from the like of Dirty Harry, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Bruce Almighty, Spider-Man 2, Transformers and Gone Girl. You’ll learn plenty of filming secrets about these movies (and many more!) along the way.
You can even upgrade your visit and enjoy a VIP Experience which lets you get off the bus, walk around and explore the sets up close and enjoy special front of line privileges for the park’s top rides and attractions. Make sure you’ve got your camera with you as you’ll want to take lots of photos throughout the tour!
Want to step into the movies? Click here, to view our great value Universal Studios Hollywood tickets.
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