Pre-Meditated “Attack” Results in Catastrophic Explosion at Universal, Thousands in Attendance

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Split image with an explosion scene from a movie on the left, and the entrance gate of universal studios hollywood with palm trees and clear skies on the right.

Credit: Universal High via (left) Universal (right)

There’s been an explosion at Universal Studios Hollywood, and it has been confirmed to be a pre-planned “attack.”

Universal Studios Hollywood entrance
Credit: Shad Islam via Unsplash

When discussing Universal’s film locations, Universal Studios Hollywood is usually the first that comes to mind. This theme park not only functions as a film studio but also provides a Studio Tour, allowing numerous guests to explore the behind-the-scenes of iconic movies. While Universal Orlando Resort was intended to do something similar, Psycho 4: The Beginning was even filming in the Florida location when Universal Studios Florida opened in 1990.

That being said, the Hollywood location is really one of the only places in which filming still takes place on a regular basis due to the extensive backlot.

Universal Studios backlot is a unique space that bridges the gap between movie magic and theme park thrills. This historic area, operational since 1915, has been the backdrop for countless iconic films like Back to the Future (1985), Psycho (1960), and thousands of other productions which still are filming on the sets and sound stages to this day.

Vin Diesel flies past tram in Supercharged promo picture
Credit: Universal

When guests visit, they get to see the halls of the Bates Motel or peek into the lake where the mechanical shark lurks. The backlot remains an active filming location, so you might even catch a glimpse of a production in progress!

This working studio cleverly blends with the theme park experience. The popular Studio Tour tram ride takes you past these famous sets, offering behind-the-scenes peeks and even incorporating live shows based on blockbuster movies like Nacho Libre (2006) or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019).

Since the backlot is still highly active and visible, sometimes we can see a glimpse of a future movie or TV show in the making. Below, we can see an explosion from when The X Files was filming here, as Universal High shared on X.

Filming a boat explosion for an episode of ‘The X Files’ on the Universal Studios backlot


The photos capture what appears to be a highly explosive explosion boat scene in front of their blue screen, which is sometimes visible on the tram tour, if shooting is not going on. The water space is man-made and was created to film scenes, with the massive blue backdrop in place to make editing the final scene very easy.

While the explosion may have startled some who did not know what was going on after they saw the billowing clouds of gray smoke, everything filming on the backlot is safe and contained, and this attack scene was pre-meditated and planned. These photos were stated to have been taken in 2002, however stunts and sights like these still happen on the backlot every single day.

A Universal Studios tour tram passes through a simulated disaster scene with dramatic special effects and scattered debris, providing visitors with an immersive entertainment experience.
Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

Right now the Universal Studio Tour is currently celebrating its 60th anniversary, which means there are some additions that have come to the ride. The celebratory event is scheduled to run from April 26 to August 11, 2024.

To celebrate the Studio Tour’s 60th anniversary, Universal Studios Hollywood is rolling out a series of exciting additions. Guests can now pose for a picture in front of a never-before-seen replica of the Hollywood Sign, a special treat since disembarking the tram for photos is rare. This exclusive opportunity might be the closest you ever get to the real sign!

Adding to the nostalgic vibes, the classic red and white Glamor Trams are making a comeback. You can admire these vintage vehicles and even snap a photo with a fully restored 1964 tram.

More photo ops await! Capture memories with the original Jaws shark and a giant King Kong backdrop. At Courthouse Square, you might even meet Doc Brown from Back to the Future next to the iconic time machine car. Keep an eye out for a colossal T-Rex display too!

The park is also revamping the Earthquake experience with a complete overhaul, featuring modern technology and a fresh look. Finally, the heart-pounding Runaway Train attraction is making a thrilling return.

Unfortunately, there was a reported measles breakout over Easter weekend at the theme park, which has left some guests worried about visiting — read more on that here. 

Have you ever seen a production filming at the Universal Backlot when you were visiting? 

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