Universal Makes Major Change To Iconic Attraction After More Than 50 Years

in Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood Virtual Tour

Credit: Universal

An iconic attraction of more than 50 years has officially seen a major change at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Universal Studios Hollywood announced the debut of the first four electric trams in its fleet of 21 Studio Tour trams.

Universal Studios Backlot tour
Credit: Universal

The world-famous, behind-the-scenes Studio Tour is a hallmark Universal Studios Hollywood attraction that, for over 55 years, has taken millions of guests from around the world through authentic movie and television production studios, featuring iconic sets made famous in blockbuster movies such as Back to the Future (1985) and rides such as Fast & Furious—Supercharged and King Kong 360 3-D.

“I am extremely proud of this innovative undertaking and our commitment to creating a zero-emissions Studio Tour fleet in collaboration with our parent company and local partners,” said Scott Strobl, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Universal Studios Hollywood. “This is just one of many steps we are taking to transform our business in line with Comcast NBCUniversal’s carbon-neutral goal, all while pioneering first-class attractions for our Guests.”

The conversion to electric trams was spearheaded in 2017 by visionaries within the Universal Studios Hollywood technical services department and represents some of the first-ever and largest battery-powered, off-road, high-torque and low speed mass people movers in the U.S.

The Universal Studios Hollywood transport
Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

Full conversion of the 21 trams from diesel-hydraulic engines to electric will help reduce carbon emissions as well as improve the guest experience by reducing noise associated with the diesel-hydraulic engine.

Installation of inductive charging technology from WAVE (Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification) by Ideanomics was a critical factor in the conversion designed to meet the trams’ rigorous daily demands of navigating the Studio’s varying topography. Trams will routinely charge during the normal operation at the start and end of the attraction route. Coupled with a regenerative braking feature, the trams will continue to build up charge when they travel downhill, providing added energy efficiency.

The elaborate clean air conversion design process evolved from a collaboration between Universal Studios Hollywood and L.A.-based Complete Coach Works to reimagine the trams from diesel-hydraulic engines to electric.

Universal Studios Hollywood Tour
Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

The project continues to be made possible by a grant from the South Coast Air Quality Management District — the local regulatory agency that works to reduce air pollution in the region — which provides funding to replace older equipment with cleaner ones that are cost-effective while reducing air pollution.  It was also supported by a significant investment from Comcast NBCUniversal and Southern California Edison through its Charge Ready Transport Program.

“It is truly so exciting to see initiatives like Universal Studios Hollywood’s new fleet of electric Studio Tour trams come to fruition — initiatives that show our public and private entities working together to do our part to combat air quality and climate change,” said L.A. Councilmember Nithya Raman. “As a new member of the South Coast Air Quality Management Board, I am looking to broaden these types of collaborations and accelerate the positive impacts they will have for our region and world. Our climate crisis demands we do this.”

Universal Hollywood
Credit: Universal

Universal’s official description of The World-Famous Studio Tour reads:

Visit 13 city blocks on 400-plus acres of historic studio lot in the largest set construction project in studio history, built with creative consultation from Steven Spielberg himself.

You’ll laugh along with comedian Jimmy Fallon, the video host of the Studio Tour. The star of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” introduces entertaining clips seen on HD monitors in the trams to augment the live Studio Tour guide narration.

Plus, Telemundo’s Carmen Villalobos takes on a new leading role as the video host of our Spanish-language Studio Tour. The new vignettes provide entertaining insights for guests designed to complement the live narration provided by expert Studio Tour guides.

We offer Studio Tours in Spanish on select days. Please check digital boards located throughout the Park for tour times during your visit.

Universal Studios Hollywood - July 4 Fireworks (horizontal)
Credit: Universal

More On Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour. As a leading global entertainment destination, Universal Studios Hollywood delivers highly themed immersive lands that translate to real-life interpretations of iconic movie and television shows. Attractions include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter which features a bustling Hogsmeade village and such critically-acclaimed rides as Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff”, the new mega attraction Jurassic World—The Ride featuring the spectacularly realistic Indominus rex dinosaur, and the all-new ride The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! Other immersive lands include Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Super Silly Fun Land as well as Springfield, hometown of America’s favorite TV family, located adjacent to the award-winning The Simpsons Ride and DreamWorks Theatre featuring Kung Fu Panda Adventure.

The world-renowned Studio Tour is Universal Studios Hollywood’s signature attraction, inviting guests behind-the-scenes of the world’s biggest and busiest movie and television production studio where they can also experience such thrill rides as Fast & Furious—Supercharged and King Kong 360 3D. Universal CityWalk, located adjacent to the theme park, features such popular restaurants as VIVO Italian Kitchen, Antojitos Cocina Mexicana, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, NBC Sports Grill & Bar and Voodoo Doughnut, along with dynamic shopping and entertainment options, including Universal Cinema, featuring deluxe recliner seating in screening room quality theatres.

What do you think of this change to The World-Famous Studio Tour? Let us know in the comments!

If you want to visit Universal Orlando Resort, you can today! Click here to get your vacation started! You can go to Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, then eat some dinner and grab a drink at CityWalk. Want to take a splash? Volcano Bay is ready for you. With so many fun events like Mardi Gras, Halloween Horror Nights, and more, Universal will give you an action-packed adventure like you are in the movies! And, who could forget about the Wizarding World of ‘Harry Potter’! Universal is also in the midst of building its biggest theme park ever, the Epic Universe, which is set to open in 2025. Or, how about a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood to experience the movies?

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