Universal Studios Florida had a grand opening on June 7th, 1990. At the time, there was no concept of Internet hence fans from all around the world travelled there in real time. But the people who visited on the Grand Opening day gave the theme park the worst possible reviews due to none of the park rides working.
Since the early 1980’s the Universal Studios owners wanted to build a theme park at the east coast which ironically Walt Disney had considered 20 years before, but had ruled out the idea because less land was available. In 1986, Universal announced plans to begin the construction of a theme park, which prompted Disney to fast track their plans for the construction of their own studio based theme park i.e. Disney-MGM Studios opened in 1989.
The opening of two new theme parks in the same area encouraged visitors to Vacation in Florida. It also attracted theme park design firms to operate their business there. Universal also shifted Universal Creative which is their theme park design division from Universal California to Universal Orlando Florida in 2001.
After the rough opening of Universal Studio theme park in Florida, to attract customers in its first summer, Universal provided free tickets to every guest to return any other day in the future. This guaranteed that each initial visitor becomes a returning visitor. Those visitors who visited after a long time found a park which was very different than the one they first visited, hence it exceeded their expectations.
Movie studios aren’t static entities like museums. They routinely recycle movie sets for their new productions, and this also applies to Universal Studios. Similar to Walt Disney Studio, almost no live production happens in Universal Studios besides its own park commercials.
The tram tour concept which was introduced in Universal Studios Hollywood has been ditched and replaced with the stand alone attractions. Currently, the only remaining on the tram tour concept is Horror Make-Up Show and E.T ride which were introduced in the first year of the Florida Park. The former Earthquake attraction also continues without the pre-ride demonstration. Besides the aforementioned attractions, all the original attractions and rides from Universal Studio Florida have been removed and replaced with high-tech newer rides.
In the past years, Universal Studios built a Transformers-themed ride i.e. “Transformers: The Ride 3D” as well as a Simpsons-themed ride i.e. “Springfield U.S.A”. Recently, Universal Studios opened a new attraction: “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley” based on Harry Potter Franchise which connects with neighboring Islands of Adventure theme park by the Hogwarts Express train ride. All these attractions and parks are surrounded by new hotels, CityWalk shopping-and-dining complex, and multi-story parking garages.
Today, Universal Studios Florida attracts more than 6 million visitors yearly, which is a greater multiple number than the number Universal Studios Hollywood attracts. With the opening of the new attractions, it is likely that visitor count would increase exponentially for the foreseeable future.