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Todd Regan


Entertainment Center:

Woody Woodpecker's Clubhouse is a children's playground - it can help burn a little of the excess energy off the kids before they have to sit in the Rugrats Magic Show.

The clubhouse, how exciting
The clubhouse, how exciting

Rating: (From balsa to oak) Woody's Clubhouse is half pecked. The kids may have fun climbing and sliding, but this is your standard playground equipment.

Studio Center:

This is the lower area of the park, the Studio Center
This is the lower area of the park, the Studio Center

Cinemagic - Classic. Cinemagic is what many of you will recognize as the typical Universal attraction of yore. The building houses three stages, each themed to a different movie. The latest being the Klumps. You are walked in large groups from stage to stage where you view different aspects of movie making.  On one stage they mix live action against blue screens (volunteers taken from the audience) with special effects. On yet another stage, audience volunteers mix sound into a silent strip of film. 

While not exciting or ground breaking, this is what the movies are all about and isn't that why you came to Universal in the first place? That's a hard question to answer these days with more and more high thrill attractions are being added to the park all the time. Still, I hope that there will always be room for attractions like Cinemagic at Universal. Now I better get down off this soap box before someone shoots me (wink).

Rating: (On a scale of air popped to coconut oil) Cinemagic rates a reliable canola. Safe for all ages.

Backdraft to the left, Cinemagic straight ahead
Backdraft to the left, Cinemagic straight ahead

Backdraft - Want to know what it feels like to be in the middle of a raging inferno?  Well even if you don't, you'll still enjoy Backdraft. Like Cinemagic, a host escorts you from stage to stage until the final big fire set. Child star turned director, Ron Howard, narrates this attraction. 

This attraction has held up very well considering that the movie was released in 1991. With the exception of younger children who may be terrified of the pyrotechnics, most anyone will marvel at the special effects.

Tips: This sound stage in particular has a great history - both Leave it to Beaver and The Munsters TV shows were originally shot here. (Beaver's school hallways and Grandpa's Lab occupied the corner of the soundstage where you watch the pre- shows.)

For each show - they use enough natural gas to supply a family of four for a year. It's amazing just how spectacular the effects are. Want to see something neat? Take your time leaving the final room, and watch the show put itself all back together again.

Rating: (On a scale of matches to mayhem) this attraction rates a four alarm.

No Longer Open



Grinchmas was a Christmas promotion for the Jim Carrey movie, complete with stage show and snow-covered sledding slope. Props from the film were also on display in the Grinch's cave.

Rating: A terrific effort - that along with the movie paid off for Universal.

Chicken Run entrance
Chicken Run entrance

Chicken Run Maze (The Chickens have flown the coupe. Attached is a short description of this Summer 2000 attraction) - Chicken Run Maze was a quick but cute look at the summer's surprise hit movie. Kids could dodge the giant hanging vegetables and escape from the pie machine. I particularly enjoyed viewing the sets and claymation figures on display.

One of the miniature sets that was on display
One of the miniature sets that was on display

Rating: (From soup to fried) the effort on this temporary attraction warranted the whole chicken pie. Now I know some of you may have been disappointed by the small scale, but it really served its purpose very well: air-conditioning, cute chickens, pie machines, secret bathrooms, the list went on and on. It was amazing to see the small scale of what was used to produce this movie - it all looks so huge up on the big screen.

You can e-mail Todd at dustytraveler@mouseplanet.com



Entertainment Center (Upper Lot)

Woody Woodpecker's Clubhouse

Studio Center
(Lower lot)



No longer open


Chicken Run Maze


Rides: Studio Tour, Back to the Future The Ride, Terminator 2:3D, Jurassic Park, E. T. Adventure

ShowsWaterworld, Rugrats Magic Adventure, The Wild Wild Wild West Stunt Show, Animal Actors Stage, Seasonal stage shows


General Information: Hours, Admission, Directions, Hotels

Updates: The latest breaking news from the park and other area attractions


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