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USF Then And Now - Photo Comparisons

Timekeeper

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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NiarrNDisney

Well-Known Member
You're not crazy. The "neck" (bridge) of the guitar was the first to go.


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In all its glory -

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I remember eating there the first year it opened! In fact I think I still have the free keychain I received with a coupon I found in a pamphlet I got from the hotel lobby where we were staying at. I still remember how my sister was upset that she had not thought about it herself and I guess was jealous that her obviously smarter, thriftier, more adorable little brother walked away with an extra souvenir. I think I also did this with Planet Hollywood, Ripley's Believe it or Not and Ron Jons in Cocoa Beach.
 

danpam1024

Well-Known Member
I remember eating there the first year it opened! In fact I think I still have the free keychain I received with a coupon I found in a pamphlet I got from the hotel lobby where we were staying at. I still remember how my sister was upset that she had not thought about it herself and I guess was jealous that her obviously smarter, thriftier, more adorable little brother walked away with an extra souvenir. I think I also did this with Planet Hollywood, Ripley's Believe it or Not and Ron Jons in Cocoa Beach.
I saw Shaq and his "posse" there probably 20 years ago :) He is HUGE!
 

danpam1024

Well-Known Member
I always wanted to go to the Nickelodeon Studios when I was a kid but when we finally took our first trip to Universal it was already too late :(
it was cool- the slime fountain out front was cool as well. I always wondered why Uni didn't take on the Nickhotel. On property. As a Loews Resort.
 

DABIGCHEEZ

Well-Known Member
You're not crazy. The "neck" (bridge) of the guitar was the first to go.


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In all its glory -

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We also ate there(only once) in the first couple of years. Funny though, for some reason I thought it was further towards the back of the park, near where the Wild West Show was... but who knows I probably have that location mixed up too.
 

Timekeeper

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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The highest grossing restaurant built in America

In the early 1990’s, Hard Rock Cafe was one of the most recognizable and compelling brands in restaurant retailing. They had developed a brilliant formula for their concept. Raleigh Design received the contract for both the architecture and interiors for what was planned to be the flagship of all Hard Rocks.

The Universal Studios site, in Orlando, contained many unique challenges. The site footprint was twenty feet above the ground; it straddled two major roads that would allow continuous access during construction. Our solution – a 23,000 square foot classically proportioned Greek revival building thrusting sixty feet into the air through the body of a 340-foot long Fender Stratocaster.

From day one this mecca of rock music became the most successful unit in the chain. And, after one year of operation, it became the highest grossing single restaurant ever built in America. The design of this project has brought our firm much attention.

In 1992, Raleigh Design received the Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Architects for architectural creativity.

Source: www.raleighdesign.com/project/hard-rock-cafe-orlando/
 

George Lucas on a Bench

Well-Known Member
Has anyone experienced the old Alfred Hitchcock attraction? If so, can you describe what it was like to me?

Quite awesome. It actually introduced me to Hitchcock. Anyway, as I recall, you first experienced a montage of clips from his films, ending with a 3D attack of The Birds. Then, there was a stage show where a faux film crew recreated the shower scene from Psycho, complete with Anthony Perkins himself on a big screen. There were also various exhibits that recreated famous scenes from his films. YouTube the Universal Studios Magic of Movies VHS to see.

Anyway, those comparison photos are pretty depressing. Notice how gaudy the new facades are and how understated and realistic the original architecture was aside from Nick. The entrance to Kongfrontation actually looked like the old Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, Back to the Future resembled a World's Fair pavilion. Now, they just look just kinda tacky and cartoony, even the globe and entrance gates. I know a lot of people prefer Universal Studios as it exists today and it may be silly to modern audiences to see Kongfrontation or Ghostbusters when you have Harry Potter. Still, the original Universal Studios Florida was undeniably amazing for its time. The precursor to Diagon Alley or the Wizarding World at Universal was walking into Kongfrontation or the E.T. Adventure. Just magnificent.
 

Timekeeper

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Has anyone experienced the old Alfred Hitchcock attraction? If so, can you describe what it was like to me?

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It was an excellent tribute the the master filmmaker. Guests entered the soundstage and started off in a room with various Hitch-related decor on the walls, similar to the first room in Disaster where volunteers are chosen.

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Then guests entered a theater, similar in size to the Shrek 4D theater, to watch a short film highlighting Hitch's career. This film climaxed in a 3D portion that was pretty darn impressive and included a realistic bird attack within the theater (the screen-tearing effect was the most realistic use of 3D that I'd ever seen).

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Then guests moved to an adjacent theater that included a segment of the Bates Motel, a large scale model of the Bates house, and shower scene set used to demonstrate how the infamous scene from Psycho was made. It featured Anthony Perkins on video as the host, and a cameraman/actress/director, somewhat like the LMA/FFL shows that currently exist. There was participation from an audience volunteer and even a twist ending that's akin to some modern magic stage illusions.

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(*the actress in this photo is fully clothed in a skin-colored swimsuit)

The post-show area was sort of a "playground" of interactive elements, scenes, special effects demonstrations, photo ops, etc., allowing guests to participate in and interact with some of Hitch's more infamous film scenes.

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And, of course, a gift shop.

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Here are a couple of videos:

Overview (professionally produced)



Film/Theater Show (missing last few seconds where a bird morphs into the Hitch profile "logo" in 3D)



Main show featuring Anthony Perkins and Shower Scene reenactment:





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