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"Behind the Scenes" on the Universal Studios Tour

In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of the Back Lot Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood. You'll see REAL movie sets where your favorite actors and actresses have made films you've seen at your local theater. In addition, Universal includes some fun "surprises," including special effects like fire, "rain," flooding, and more! What's new on the backlot tour? King Kong---in 3D! See King Kong battle a dinosaur...right alongside your tram! Will you make it out alive? Who knows---maybe not!

What is the Universal Studios Hollywood Tram Tour?

You'll visit REAL movie sets on Universal's Back Lot...and enjoy surprising special effects!

Plane crash movie set...with a real airplane that was manipulated to look as if it had actually fallen from the skyWhat a grizzly airplane crash! In the photo to your left, it appears that NOBODY must have escaped from such a horrible calamity. Maybe you'll be surprised, but nobody was hurt at all! Why not? Because THIS plane was purchased from an airline company, then destroyed in a way that a realistic crash would make an airplane look. Where can you see this spectacle yourself? Only on the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park's Backlot Tram Tour!

It's so much fun to see actual filming sets where favorite movies and TV shows have been made!

Universal's Back Lot Tram Tour will take you to the magical, make-believe world of the silver screen. To make your journey even MORE fun, the Universal Studios Tour folks have added fun & astounding special effects demonstrations along the way!

When can you take the Universal Studios Hollywood's Back Lot Tours? The Universal Studios tours are given regularly throughout the day when you visit this popular Southern California theme park. Not long after one tram leaves, another comes back to the depot to unload its passengers and take on a new group.

Are you bringing a non-English-speaking guest? Tours are available in Spanish as well as in English. Simply alert an attendant at the tram tour attraction so that your party may be guided into the proper line for your Spanish-language tour.

Are you curious about the history of the Universal Studios tours? Well, the tours began long before the theme park was ever imagined. The Universal Studios tours began in the 1960's as a way to add a bit more revenue for the Universal film company. The tours were a "hit" from the very start, and became so popular that they blossomed into the theme park you see today.

Of course, the Universal Studios Tours are just as popular today as they ever were. Why? Because guests love the Universal Studios Tour! Repeat visitors tend to take the tour time and again...and that's because regular updates are made to the tour. Filming sites from current productions are always being added.

Movie sets you'll see on Universal's Back Lot Tour

Photo of the house used in filming the horror movie

Along the Universal Studios tour route, you'll see various sets that have become iconic---well-known to the public because the productions in which they were used were immensely popular.

Here on your left, you see the familiar Norman Bates house used in the Hitchcock thriller, "Psycho." It's scary just to look at it! Nearby, you'll also see the infamous Bates Motel (from "Psycho" as well), where the nightmare-inducing shower-stabbing scene took place.

Norman Bates, the deranged main character from the horror movie

On some of the tours, you'll have to watch out--

Norman Bates himself, the deranged killer from Hitchcock's "Psycho" movie, might get loose and start heading towards your tour tram!

Photo of a house used in filming the Desperate Housewives TV show...seen on the Tram Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood, California

Were you---or are you still---a fan of the Desperate Housewives TV show? If so, you'll be interested to know that part of the filming for this series was filmed at Universal Studios Hollywood! And, what's more, when you take the theme park's Backlot Tram Tour, you'll be able to see Wisteria Lane, the fictional street which was the center of the action for this show!

Here on your left, you see one of the homes used in filming the series. What happened to the tram tour on days that "Desperate Housewives" was filming? Did theme park visitors get to take part in the action?

Photo of a house used in filming the Desperate Housewives TV show...seen on the Tram Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood, California

Unfortunately, no. When the series was filming, this area of the tour was blocked off and the tram passed it by. But the tram came so close to the set that guests taking the tour were asked to be particularly quiet!

To your right, you're viewing another home you'll recognize from "Desperate Housewives," and if you're a fan of retro TV series, you may also recognize this house as the home of "The Munsters!" (It had different trim at the time, but it still can be recognized. Still other TV shows and movies have been filmed on this street...and you can find out some of your favorites when you take the tour!

Demonstrations of movie-making techniques on the Tram Tour

Floods, fires, rainstorms and disasters can be made to happen "on cue," and then end just as quickly as they started!

Photo of a sleepy village on the Universal Studios Backlot...that will soon be getting a rainstorm and flash flood right on cue!

Movie & TV disasters can be so life-like, but sometimes thery're simply an elaborate setup designed to look so realistic that Mother Nature seems to have caused the gloom and doom.

Here on your left, you see an entire village that was made for shooting a film in torrential rains (with a resulting flash flood.) Of course, actors are human; and a forgotten line could ruin the scene. Or, props & equipment may fail...

How can a crew shoot the scene fast enough before natural rain moves away? How can the crew ensure that a flood needed for their scene will actually happen?

Photo of a flash flood that was purposefully caused, and then drained away...seen on the Tram Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood, California

When a town is BUILT with the infrastructure to cause rain & drain away floods, then it's easy! When it's time for the rain to start, then on come the sprinklers. Need heavier rain? Not a problem---a few more sprinklers are sent into action. And a flood? There's one waiting behind the scenes. Just say the word, and the waters will be released!

To your right, you're viewing water draining away from the sleepy little village seen above. The flood burst onto the scene...and surprise, surprise---no damage was done at all. In fact, the water can be drained away (and then a brand-new storm and flood be created) time and time again. In fact, that's EXACTLY what happens each and every day at Universal Studios Hollywood. Storms there can be quite predictable. Every time a tour tram stops by, the behind-the-scenes tour guests are treated to a flood just like this one!

Photo: Gas truck wrecks in a mock earthquake, Universal Studios tour, Hollywood, California
In another truly fascinating demo along the Universal Studios tour route, a mock earthquake occurs. Buildings tumble and vehicles collide...and things begin to catch fire! You'll find out quickly how hot that fire is for the actors to work around---just a "small" flame like this can be felt by everyone in the tour tram.



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Are you a variety lover? Plan a vacation to Southern California! You can take a studio tour one day, swim at the beach the next, then whirl all day on roller coasters the third. It's "Variety Central!"

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