As theme parks begin to emerge from safety closures, I decided to revisit a few favorite photos from my adventures in Central Florida. Since they are one of the first to reopen, Universal Studios Florida photos take center stage for this installment.
From Harry Potter to Halloween Horror Nights, this movie-based play land offers a diverse canvas of photographic opportunities. With this Orlando, Florida favorite now in the process of welcoming guests again, perhaps a few of these photos will inspire new images from favorite photo spot locations.
Opened in 1991, this Orlando based theme park has seen many changes. As new adventures replaced opening rides and shows, only a handful of the park’s original attractions remain. Universal’s second installment of Wizarding World wonders resides at this park. Exciting events like Mardi Gras and Halloween Horror Nights provide further photo op possibilities.
My Favorite Universal Studios Florida Photos
Universal Studios Florida helps usher in photographic skills and overcome challenges like low light images. While photography captured my interest while still in high school, the opportunity to shoot for ITM saw the hobby pan out into an enjoyable employment experience. Hence, the images below span from early park memories (shot with simple film-based cameras) to magnificent media events covered for Inside the Magic.
Making Memories – Images from the earlier days of Universal Studios Florida
I was fortunate enough to visit Universal Studios Florida at a time when the park was still young. Despite attraction functionality issues in its infancy, this park still captivated my attention with features like the Bates Motel and home, wandering Classic Monsters and more.
Making Monsters – Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida
There’s no secret that Halloween and Classic Horror hold a special spot in cold, dark heart. Attending Halloween Horror Nights over the past 30 years brought with it, a fiendishly fun, favorite photographic topic – monsters!
I would be lying if I did not confess this one event in particular tops the list when it comes to snapping Universal Studios Florida photos.
Making Magic – Diagon Alley descends
With the spellbinding success of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade Village, at Islands of Adventure, Universal made the call to remove a fan favorite (Jaws/Amity area) in favor of a new Potter powered experience: Diagon Alley. I was extremely lucky to be included in much of the media hoopla kicking off this extremely immersive new adventure.
Of course, upon passing through the magical bricks ‘hiding’ this whimsical land, my breath was stolen away and jaw needed help staying closed. To say the attention to detail delights the senses would be an understatement.
Mardi Gras and More – Special Events at Universal Studios Florida
Engaging events like Mardi Gras and Christmas (featuring Macy’s and Mannheim Steamroller) give guests delicious dining delights and exciting entertainment experiences. Sampling seasonal munchies made taking photographs at these events that much more enjoyable.
Of note, while the Macy’s parade brings a nostalgic, child-like smile to my face, my holiday (or Who-liday) photo preferences reside next door at Islands of Adventure (more on that another time).
Enjoying favorite photos from the theme parks
I’m extremely thankful to have been afforded opportunities to snap images at theme parks around Central Florida and beyond. The experience, for me, not only enhances my enjoyment of both the parks and photography in general, it also serves as a welcome laboratory for improving picture taking skills and trying out new techniques.
I sincerely hope that these images bring a smile to those who read this but also offer encouragement to the photographers in the audience.
Source and images: Michael Gavin