Universal Studios Florida
Photos of the lagoon area in Universal Studios Florida at Universal Orlando.
Located in the middle of the Universal Studios Florida theme park is its lagoon, a large body of water that helps divide and provide a natural flow of traffic around the park. In addition to looking nice and providing some scenery, the lagoon has been host to a couple different night time shows including a stunt show and a fireworks show in one form or another.
The original night show in Universal Studios Florida was Dynamite Nights Stunt Spectacular, an action-packed stunt show filled with boat chases and plenty of pyrotechnics. Dynamite Nights opened with the rest of the park on June 7, 1990, and it was heavily influenced on the hit 1980s television show, Miami Vice. Dynamite Nights Stunt Spectacular closed for good in February of 2000.
A couple of years later, there was a short time period in which Universal Studios Florida tried to host a regular fireworks show set to the music made famous in assorted Universal movies. Unfortunately, this was a very short lived concept as the neighboring communities constantly complained about the noise from the fireworks. While the Walt Disney World theme parks are surrounded by thousands of acres owned by Disney, Universal Orlando doesn't have that kind of luxury concerning space. The Universal Orlando theme parks are nestled between residential communities and businesses right there by the Florida Turnpike and Interstate-4, a very congested area. Because of the densely populated area (and many of those homes were there before Universal Studios Florida was constructed), Universal has to abide by noise restrictions. As a result, USF is unable to have a major fireworks show similar to Wishes! at the Magic Kingdom or Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot.
The next night show developed by Universal Studios Florida was Universal 360: A Cinesphere Spectacular.
This show, centered above and around the lagoon area, used a combination of lasers, pyrotechnics, fireworks, and video clips that were displayed not only on a series of spheres on the lagoons, but also on many of the surrounding buildings as well. The attempt here was to surround the audience and make them feel like they were part of the movie experience. While this was an interesting concept, unfortunately, Universal 360: A Cinesphere Spectacular had two major downfalls. First of all, those spheres were a major eyesore during the day and ruined a lot of great photos of the lagoon area. And second, the audience after the show had mixed to negative reactions. For many of us, the experience felt like watching a bunch of movie trailers, movies that we already know by heart. In other words, it was a waste of time complicated by many of the Universal employees overhyping the show itself.
Universal 360: A Cinesphere Spectacular closed for good in September of 2011.
The concept of the Universal 360 show returned with its predecessor, Universal's Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories. This updated version of the show opened on May 8, 2012. This newer version is hosted by Morgan Freeman and features updated effects such as waterfall screens. Like Universal 360, Universal's Cinematic Spectacular continues with the theme of showing movie highlights from the past 100 years of Universal's films.
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