Universal Studios Florida is a large, very popular, family-oriented theme and amusement park located in Orlando, Florida. The general theme of the park deals with Hollywood and entertainment - specifically the movie and television industry. As is the case with most amusement parks, a day at Universal Studios Florida revolves around the enjoyment of numerous, varied rides and attractions, as well as a number of free-with-admission entertainment options. This particular Universal Studios park is one part of the larger Universal Orlando Resort and is currently ranked as the fifth most visited theme park in America.
One of the major features of the original Universal park in Hollywood was and is the studio tram tour. That tour takes guests on a journey through a number of different exhibits that include special effects set-ups, staged encounters with creatures like Jaws or King Kong, and actual sets that were used in well-known television shows and movies. Universal Studios Florida began with the development of stand-alone attractions based on some of these same elements of that tour - Jaws the Ride mirrors the real-time encounter with Jaws from the original Hollywood tour, for example.
The many state-of-the-art attractions and rides continue to be the main draw for visitors when it comes to Universal Studios Florida to this day. In keeping with the scope of the park, all of the rides are entertainment -themed. However, not all the movies that have become attractions are necessarily part of the Universal catalog. Over the years, the park has licensed the rights to many other popular movies and television shows as well including Ghostbusters, The Simpsons, Men in Black, Shrek, and Jimmy Neutron.
Some of the park's most popular rides and attractions were even developed with the help of the original creators of the films they are based on and in some cases even feature some of the stars that were part of the piece. For instance, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera personally appear in The Futuristic World of Hanna-Barbera. The Alfred Hitchcock feature, The Art of Making Movies features Anthony Perkins of Psycho fame. Thomas F. Wilson and Christopher Lloyd of the Back to the Future trilogy appear in Back to the Future: The Ride. These are only a few of many such cameos that help lend realism and credibility to the park's many state-of-the-art attractions.
Like its sister park in Hollywood, Universal Studios Florida also serves as a working production studio. The production area of the park consists of six soundstages that have served a variety of purposes over the years. To begin with, it was the working location of Nickelodeon Studios from the years 1990-2005. It has also been the location of the Powerball lottery drawings since January of 2009. Other past or present features associated with these sound stages include Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, Wheel of Fortune, Fear Factor, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and SeaQuest DSV.
In addition to the rides, attractions, and studio, Universal Studios Florida is also home to a number of shopping and dining venues for the entertainment and convenience of park goers. For the kiddies, there are also a number of regular character appearances from well-known productions such as Shrek, the Hanna-Barbera franchise, and various Nickelodeon productions.