The Studio Tour (a.k.a. The Backlot Tour) at Universal Studios Hollywood has been an icon of the theme park since its debut in 1964. It’s been so popular that the concept was mimicked at Walt Disney World when its then-called Disney-MGM Studios opened in 1989, and several parts of the attraction, including Earthquake and Jaws were built as standalone attractions when Universal Orlando Resort opened in 1990.
The tour includes several staged events and attractions, such as a flash flood, King Kong 3D and Fast & Furious: Supercharged, as well as the aforementioned Earthquake and Jaws attractions. It also travels through and past multiple past and present film sets.
Steven Spielberg has had a relationship with Universal Studios as far back as around the time of his high school graduation, when he apprenticed there as an unpaid assistant in the studio’s television department. Following a decades-long directing and producing career that has spanned from “Jaws,” to “E.T.,” to “Jurassic Park” to “Back To The Future” to “Men In Black” to “Transformers,” it was plainly established that, as the longtime head of Universal Studios, Ron Meyer, once said, “Universal is, and always has been, Steven’s home.”
So who better than Spielberg himself to give a Universal Studios tour, right? 😉
In 2016, Entertainment Weekly posted a video of Steven Spielberg driving host Anthony Breznican around the backlot of Universal Hollywood, telling stories as only Steven Spielberg could. It’s a fascinating look at the multiple Oscar-winning director’s memories of the studio and is like no Studio/Backlot Tour you’ve ever seen.
Meanwhile, at Universal Studios Orlando…
Michael Aiello is the Senior Director – Creative – Live Entertainment at Universal Creative. He’s currently working on Universal’s Epic Universe theme park but many people might know him better as one of the creative masterminds behind Halloween Horror Nights.
Anyway, before The Wizarding World of Harry Potter expanded into Orlando’s version of Universal Studios, that space was the aforementioned Jaws attraction. And in 1996, a 17-year-old Michael Aiello got a summer job there, working as a Jaws skipper.
As you may have guessed from the height of his current position, he never left Universal Orlando. 😉
Anyway, Aiello recently posted this, in an attempt to hopefully make a few smiles during this #coronacrapola. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
*** Cover photo via jawsride.net
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary