History in the Making: Iconic Globe at Universal Studios Canceled

in Universal Orlando

Rotating globe with the Universal Studios logo, under a clear blue sky, welcoming visitors to an adventurous theme park experience.

Credit: Universal

There is, perhaps, nothing more iconic at Universal Studios Orlando than the giant globe just outside the theme park. This symbol has become synonymous with the Universal experience, greeting visitors as they embark on their adventures through the park.

Over the years, Universal Orlando Resort has continually evolved, adding new attractions and experiences to keep guests coming back for more.

A large rotating globe with the word "Universal" prominently displayed stands as the iconic entrance landmark for Universal Land. It is surrounded by lush greenery, mist, and white fences, with palm trees and park attractions visible in the background.
Credit: Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

In recent years, the theme parks have seen an array of exciting updates. One of the standout additions is the Jurassic World VelociCoaster, a thrilling ride that has quickly become a favorite among visitors. This coaster takes riders on a high-speed adventure through the world of Jurassic World, featuring intense twists, turns, and near-miss moments with velociraptors.

Another significant addition is Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, which transports guests into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This ride combines storytelling with roller coaster thrills, allowing guests to experience the Forbidden Forest on Hagrid’s motorbike. The innovative design and immersive theming have made it a standout attraction in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

A family walks towards Hogwarts Castle in The Wizarding World at Universal
Credit: Universal Studios

Universal Orlando Resort has also expanded its offerings with the introduction of Minion Land. This new area is a vibrant and playful addition, filled with attractions and experiences based on the popular Despicable Me franchise. Guests can interact with their favorite Minions, enjoy themed rides, and indulge in Minion-themed treats.

Looking ahead, Universal is set to unveil DreamWorks Land on June 14. This new area promises a variety of new and fun experiences, featuring beloved characters and stories from DreamWorks Animation. It will offer a mix of attractions, character meet-and-greets, and entertainment, providing guests with another exciting area to explore.

Perhaps the most anticipated development at Universal Orlando is the upcoming Epic Universe, set to open in 2025.

Guests walking into Universal Studios Florida
Credit: Universal

This all-new theme park will introduce numerous new intellectual properties (IPs), creating entirely new worlds for guests to explore.

Among the highlights are SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, which will bring the beloved video game universe to life; Dark Universe: Universal Classic Monsters, which will immerse guests in the world of iconic monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein; How To Train Your Dragon, offering a chance to interact with dragons and experience adventures from the beloved film series; and an additional The Wizarding World of Harry Potter land, this time themed to the Ministry of Magic.

The canceled globe at Universal Studios Orlando

Amidst all these developments, an intriguing piece of history has resurfaced as part of Islands of Adventure’s 25-year anniversary.

In the late 1990s, as Universal was planning the opening of Islands of Adventure, there were discussions about placing a second giant globe right outside the new park. This second globe was intended to mirror the iconic one at the entrance of Universal Studios, creating a cohesive brand identity and serving as a landmark for the new park.

The idea behind the second globe was to establish a strong visual connection between the two parks. Just as the globe outside Universal Studios Orlando had become an emblematic feature, the second globe was envisioned to serve a similar purpose for Islands of Adventure. It would have provided a striking visual cue for visitors, marking the entrance to a new realm of adventure and excitement.

Universal Orlando Resort globe with Universal's Islands of Adventure in the background. Photo by Aditya Vyas on Unsplash
Credit: Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

Plans for the second globe were quite advanced, with initial designs and placements considered. The globe was to be positioned prominently, ensuring it would be one of the first things guests saw as they approached Islands of Adventure. The globe was to feature the same rotating design, with the Universal logo prominently displayed, reinforcing the park’s connection to the broader Universal brand.

However, despite the ambitious plans, the project was ultimately canceled. Various factors contributed to this decision, including budget constraints and shifting priorities. At the time, Universal was heavily focused on ensuring that the attractions and theming within Islands of Adventure were of the highest quality. Allocating resources to the second globe became less of a priority as the park’s opening date approached, as reported by Touring Plans.

While the second globe never came to fruition, Islands of Adventure opened in 1999 to widespread acclaim. The park featured distinct themed islands, each offering unique experiences and attractions. From the superhero thrills of Marvel Super Hero Island to the prehistoric adventures of Jurassic Park, Islands of Adventure quickly established itself as a must-visit destination.

Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure
Credit: Universal Orlando

As Universal Orlando Resort celebrates the 25-year anniversary of Islands of Adventure, the story of the second globe serves as a fascinating “what if” moment in the park’s history. It highlights the ambitious vision that Universal had for its expansion and the careful decisions that shaped the park into what it is today.

The anniversary celebrations offer a chance to reflect on the park’s history and the many beloved attractions it has introduced over the years. From the groundbreaking technology of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man to the immersive world of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Islands of Adventure has continually pushed the boundaries of theme park experiences.

Looking to the future, Universal Orlando shows no signs of slowing down. With new lands, attractions, and even an entirely new theme park on the horizon, the resort is poised to continue its legacy of innovation and excitement.

While the second globe outside Islands of Adventure remains an intriguing piece of what might have been, the park’s success and the ongoing expansion of Universal Orlando are a testament to the vision and creativity that have defined the resort for the past three decades.

What do you think the future holds for Universal Orlando Resort? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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