Universal Studios Hollywood was the very first movie studio of its kind! It’s been over 100 years! Here are 23 Universal Studios Hollywood facts!

1. Founded

On April 30, 1912, Carl Laemmle founded Universal Studios. To give you some historical background, the Titanic sank only 16 days prior.


Carl Laemmle was born in Germany. He was also Jewish. He already lived in the United States around the time of WWII. So, Laemmle himself was ‘safe.’ However, he quietly brought over many family members, friends, and any other random people he could to safety in the US on his own dime.

3. "Boo" The Bad Guys

Universal Studios was the first studio lot to bring guests backstage to watch the filmmaking process in 1915. Movies did not include sound yet, so guests could be as loud as they wanted during filming. In fact, they were encouraged to “boo” the bad guys and cheer for the heroes.

4. Free Lunch

The experience included a boxed lunch. The whole thing cost only twenty-five cents per person!

5. Studio Tour

When sound was made possible for movie recordings, the audience couldn’t be trusted to go behind the scenes. So the backstage experience was shut down until 1961 when they organized the potential chaos into a bus tour. This was the birth of what we now know as the Studio Tour.

6. E.T. Adventure

The first official ride did not open until 1991. It was E.T. Adventure. It was only built after the success of the Orlando version of the attraction.

7. Working Film Studio

There are Universal parks in Hollywood, Orlando, Tokyo, and Singapore. Universal Hollywood is the only one that doubles as a working film studio, too.

8. Fire

The Universal Studio lot has been severely damaged by fire nine times! The biggest fire, in 2008, caused so much damage that it took years to rebuild. One part of the tour, King Kong Encounter, was permanently closed. Don’t fret, though, a 3D experience of Peter Jackson’s King Kong replaced it in 2010.

9. Secret Show

There is a secret show that occurs somewhere between the Kung Fu Panda theatre and Waterworld. It is not announced or published on any maps. To see the show, you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

10. Waterworld

At the time, Waterworld was the most expensive movie ever made. Too bad it tanked at the box office! One good thing came from that production though, the Waterworld: A Live Sea Spectacular stunt show. It is the most popular show at Universal Hollywood. It is arguably more popular than the movie it's based on. All the performers are trained stuntmen. They also appear in several shows that you may be familiar with: American Horror Story, How to Get Away with Murder, CSI, etc.

11. J.K. Rowling

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was created with the help of author J.K. Rowling and the filmmakers.

12. Anniversary

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened on the 101st anniversary of Universal Studios Hollywood.

13. Hogs Head

Pay attention to the hogshead inside Hogshead Pub. It may look like just a hunting trophy…but it's still alive! It moves and grunts from time to time.

14. Free Desserts

Go to the Three Broomsticks just before closing. If there are any leftover desserts, you may get one for free!

15. Less crowded Entrance

Enter Hogsmeade near the Studio Tour. That entrance is less crowded.

16. Dinosaur Visit

While in the Jurassic World area of the park, you may hear the sound of an alarm going off accompanied by red, blinking lights. Watch out! That means a real dinosaur is about to come to visit guests near the ride drop!

17. Mandarin Megatron

During the Lunar New Year celebration, Megatron speaks Mandarin while meeting guests!

18. Opening Day

On the opening day of Revenge of the Mummy, some guests in line chanted “IMHOTEP! IMHOTEP!” like the hypnotized townspeople of the movie. This is how they expressed their excitement.

19. Miniature E.T.

Inside the treasury of the Revenge of the Mummy ride, look for a miniature E.T. statue! He gets moved occasionally so if you would like to find him, ask an employee where he is that day.

20. Jurassic Park

Stephen Spielberg read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, fell in love with it, purchased the movie rights, and began creating both the movies and rides before the book was even published.

21. Jurassic Park: The Ride Development

Even though Jurassic Park: The Ride was in development before its respective movie, it took much longer to finish. This is due to the fact that the animatronics for the ride needed to withstand sunlight, water, etc. for hours on end every day. For the movie, they only needed to be operational for a couple of scenes.

22. Expensive Attraction

Jurassic Park: The Ride cost $110 million to make. It was twice the cost of the first two films.

23. Oak Tree

It is illegal to cut down an oak tree in California. The area where Jurassic World: The Ride is wrapped around a big oak tree. The whole attraction basically circles around it, since it couldn’t be removed.

Were there any of these Universal Studios Hollywood facts that you already knew? If so, you must be a pro!