Universal celebrates the Studio Tour’s 60th anniversary with special experiences

Guests visiting Universal Studios Hollywood from April 26 through Aug. 11, 2024, will get a few extra surprises as the park celebrates the Studio Tour’s 60th anniversary.

Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour 60th anniversary
Photos courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood

In 1964, Universal City Studios invited tourists to a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Hollywood movie making—a novel idea at the time. Since then, Universal Studios Hollywood has given over 200 million guests a chance to tour the studio’s iconic backlot and experience several immersive attractions.

Universal Studios Hollywood studio tour

“The Studio Tour is a crown jewel in our theme park portfolio and a beloved attraction for millions of guests,” said Universal Studios Hollywood Executive Vice President and General Manager Scott Strobl. “We are thrilled and honored to share our enthusiasm for its historic relevance with guests both new to the experience as well as those who have journeyed with us along the way.”

One of the biggest highlights of the celebration is the renovation of “Earthquake—The Big One,” which debuted on the Studio Tour in 1989.

We recently got a sneak peek of the updated attraction, which you can read about here.

Universal Studios Hollywood Earthquake
Photo by Joseph Spencer

Glamor Trams Return

In the early days, guests rode through the backlot in red-and-white Glamor Trams. Those were replaced with a fleet of 21 diesel-hydraulic trams—many of which have already been converted to electric – and some have gotten a glamorous makeover.

Universal Studios Hollywood studio tour Glamor Tram

The Studio Tour’s 60th anniversary will also showcase the red-and-white beauties with the opportunity to step off the tram at the legendary “Pycho” movie sets to see an original 1964 vintage Glamor Tram. The step-off will also feature photo ops with a giant King Kong backdrop and the park’s original hanging “Jaws” shark.

Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour Glamor Tram

Studio Tour Surprises

While guests wait in the queue, they’ll see archival images and videos detailing the Studio Tour’s history along with an original augmented reality (AR) Studio Tour trivia challenge to test their knowledge of the attraction (with the ability to share their results on social media). The tram’s monitors will also show clips of former Studio Tour attractions during the tour.

Universal Studios Hollywood also has a few surprises for guests during the tour this spring and summer:

  • Courthouse Square (a notable filming location for the Back to the Future movies) will feature an original time machine picture car and a roaming Doc Brown character.
  • The 1976 Runaway Train will temporarily return with warning bells and sirens blaring from its stationary location at the King Kong 360 3-D entrance.
  • A massive dimensional T-Rex used to promote “Jurassic World” will be located by “a locked paddock of wild dinosaurs that can be heard screeching and clamoring to escape.”
Universal Studios Hollywood Glamor Tram
Runaway Train in action on the Studio Tour.

Universal Studios Hollywood annual passholders will be able to preview the Studio Tour’s 60th-anniversary celebration on April 18, 22, 23, and 24, 2024. Click here for details and to RSVP.

Hooray for the Hollywood Sign

Did you know that the Hollywood sign was installed in 1923 as a giant billboard for a real estate development called Hollywoodland?

Despite that not-so-famous start, the Hollywood Sign (minus the “land”) is now one of the world’s best-known monuments representing the city of Los Angeles and the entertainment industry. To commemorate the Studio Tour’s 60th anniversary and the Hollywood Sign’s 100th, Universal Studios Hollywood is partnering with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Hollywood Sign Trust to debut the first-ever original replica of the Sign at the tram step-off.

Hollywood Sign
Photo by Elijah Smith

“The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is thrilled that this incredible opportunity will enable guests to step off the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood and enjoy an up close look at a perfectly scaled replica of the Hollywood Sign,” said Steve Nissen, CEO and President of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. “It has been a dream of millions to be able to climb the hillside to the actual sign atop Mt. Lee, so this collaboration with Universal Studios Hollywood is the ideal way to inspire guests around the world to dream big.”

Fun Fact: The original Hollywood Sign is 45 feet tall, but the official replica at Universal Studio Hollywood will stand at 10 feet tall.

Guests disembarking the tram at the Bates Motel will have the unique opportunity to pose for photos with the officially sanctioned replica of the Hollywood Sign.

60th-Anniversary Food and Merchandise

The Universal Studio Tour’s 60th-anniversary celebration will also feature themed food and beverages (including retro-style entrees, sweets, and drinks), as well as themed merchandise and memorabilia.

A sampling of menu items at select locations will include:

  • Hollywood & Dine will serve a BBQ Brisket Sandwich, a BBQ Cheeseburger, a BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, a BBQ Chicken Sandwich, a Summer Strawberry Salad, BBQ Corn Dogs, and Film Reel Cookie Sandwiches.
  • Mel’s Diner will feature a Mel’s Classic Burger, a Beyond Meat BBQ Cheeseburger, a Chili Cheese Dog, a Tuna Melt, and a Chicken Caeser Salad, as well as two entrees that honor mid-century TV dinners: the Meatloaf Combo and Fried Chicken Combo.
  • Studio Scoops ice-cream parlor will serve tasty treats in honor of the theme park’s signature attractions.
  • City Snack Shop will be transformed into a Glamor Tram and serve treats, including the Glam Tram Cookie, Film Reel Cookie Sandwich, Giant 60th Pretzel, 60th Celebration Cookies, and Banana Breath Popcorn.

A special Dining Pass will be available for purchase to allow guests to choose six eligible menu items: a choice of two entrees plus a choice of four snacks, sides, desserts, or beverages at participating restaurants or food carts (the Dining Pass is valid only on the day of purchase; select in-park venues and food carts are excluded).

Universal studio tour 60th-anniversary popcorn bucket

An all-new dedicated merchandise collection will include a 60th-anniversary popcorn bucket shaped like an iconic Glamor Tram, plus retro-themed souvenirs, including a Glamor Tram-themed pillow, blanket, backpack, jacket, tops, tee shirts, hats, mugs, keychains, salt and pepper shakers, chocolates, and candies.

Click here for more information about the 60th anniversary of the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood.

The World-Famous Studio Tour is Turning 60!

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