Published: August 18, 2013 at 8:13 PMNorm Rice, the first president of Universal Florida, was a close friend of my ex-wife's father (she was my current wife at the time). An really nice guy who would retire from Universal a few years later. Luckily I never saw the park until after IoA opened.
Published: August 19, 2013 at 11:10 AMThis brings back memories. I first visited Universal in 1995. They were just breaking ground on IOA. I love the new rides but miss Back to the Future, Kong, Jaws, and Hanna Barbara and the Hitchcock show. This is why I hope they keep E.T. Don't completely forget your past. But looking forward to Diagon Alley and more in the future.
Published: August 19, 2013 at 11:13 AMBeen there when it first opened. Missed the old rides..
Ohh who could forget the ghost buster show..
When IOA was first announced and they had the preview mock up
model of it.
They have cone a long way.. Good to see as they challenge Disney as
we are the winners..
Published: August 19, 2013 at 2:19 PMI was there on opening day all those years back. Not a lot to do, so much wasn't working well or at all. Managed to get on King Kong, and Sylvester Stalone was there with his entourage. It broke down and we sat there in the Roosevelt Island tram for about 30 minutes waiting for the ride to restart. Sly wasn't thrilled (none of us were) but spent the time joking with his peeps.
Bumped into Jimmy Stewart walking around the park.
The show that was working well on opening day (I saw it several times that day) was Ghostbusters. That was a lot of fun. A couple of years later they redid it to be funnier, which improved and already good show. Then they ripped it out for twister, which wasn't nearly as good.
It is interesting to see how the park has evolved. Great story.
Published: August 20, 2013 at 9:02 AMI think I went first in 91. I was so in awe of the Bates Motel! I wish they could have kept it. I know it was tons of real estate...but it was awesome! The Hitchcock show was great too, I remember being very scared when 'mother' stood right in front of me in the front row!
Published: August 20, 2013 at 9:14 AMI've seen reports over the years that visitors were able to enter the Bates house. Was that ever the case? It certainly wasn't when I was there opening year. I did, however, procure my favorite park souvenirs of all time..Bates Motel logo-embroidered washcloths and letterhead stationery. I think I bought 4 washcloths and 5 packs of writing paper (logo pens included.)
Thanks for the memories, Kelly!
Published: August 22, 2013 at 11:00 AMI was a studio guide at Universal Hollywood from 1986-1991, and took a trip to Orlando in 1989 to see the park under construction. Saw the park model & walked through the muddy construction site, completely excited to see the park in its finished form.
Took my first visit as a paying guest in 1991 when BTTF opened, and then got the chance to work in the park from 1998-2000. Some great memories in that place for me.