Universal Destinations & Experiences
Universal Destinations & Experiences (formerly Universal Parks & Resorts) is the theme park subsidiary of NBCUniversal. It owns and operates the Universal Studios theme parks around the world.
When in Hollywood Visit Universal Studios
(1963-May 7, 1993; May 27, 1994; April 28, 2000; May 29, 2009; November 8, 2019)
Logo: On a blue background, we see the pre-1990s Universal Studios logo in a yellow circle with a black outline. The black outline turns red with a white outline with the text "THE ENTERTAINMENT CENTER OF THE WORLD" as well as six stars (three on each side) surrounding it. The logo then fades into artwork featuring a palm tree with a "Glamor Tram" vehicle and a backlot facade along with the text "When in Hollywood Visit Universal Studios".
- Depending on the film, the tint of the text and background may vary.
- There is a short version of the bumper where it starts with the "Visit Universal Studios" slide. This appears on such films as American Graffiti and An American Werewolf in London.
- On films directed by John Landis, the words "(Ask For Babs)" fade in below.
- Sometimes, the words "PRODUCED AT" and "CALIFORNIA, U.S.A." are respectively above and below the Universal Studios logo. This variant starts with a blank background and has the Universal Studios logo zooming in along with the text within a second or two. This can be seen on productions filmed at Universal Studios, as opposed to being merely produced or released by Universal.
- Early in its life, "CITY" was placed next to "STUDIOS" and it zooms in. The next slide reads "WHEN IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA VISIT UNIVERSAL CITY STUDIOS" with a cameraman and people and (very hardly) film actors in it.
- The short version was parodied in both The Flintstones and its prequel, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas. Here, the text is in stone, reads "WHEN IN HOLLYROCK VISIT UNIVERSHELL STUDIOS", and has an overall different design.
- On the 1981 MCA DiscoVision release of The Wiz and the 1990 MCA Home Video VHS of The Hindenburg, only the first screen is shown.
- A widescreen version exists for films in a Scope format in which a cameraman on a platform is added to the left side of the screen.
- The "Babs" that is being referred in the John Landis variant to is a character in his 1978 film Animal House by the name of Barbara "Babs" Jensen, and in the early 1980s reportedly if you asked for Babs at the park's admission gates, you would be given a discount for entry or free tickets (per the film's epilogue she had become a tour guide for Universal Studios). This discount program was stopped by 1989 as Universal was getting tired of the joke of "asking for Babs", though Landis continued to include the text in his later films.
Technique: 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: None or the closing theme.
- Seen at the end of theatrical prints of Universal movies until mid-1993 such as Back to the Future, Smokey and the Bandit, The Burbs, and Firestarter (1984), as well as on the 1984 MCA Home Video VHS reissue of The Funhouse (the original 1981 MCA Videocassette Inc. release leaves it off) and the 1991 VHS release of Cape Fear (1962) within the logo's lifetime.
- For a long time, Universal relegated this and all of the following logos exclusively to theatrical runs - though starting in mid-2021 it has shown up on the 2021 Powerhouse Films Blu-ray of Eye of the Cat, HBO Now's print of All of Me (a Kings Road release with it also appearing on the Thorn EMI Video release and subsequent HBO/Cannon Video reissue), and the 2022 Shout! Factory 4K UHD Blu-ray of Army of Darkness.
- The John Landis variant is retained on all home releases of films that use it (namely National Lampoon's Animal House, The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London, and Into the Night).
- This logo also made surprise reappearances on Drag Me to Hell and theatrical screenings of Last Christmas (2019), presumably as a reference to 1980s origin of the film's namesake song.
Legacy: For many years, the non-Landis variants were regarded as tough to find due to its theatrical exclusivity (not to mention low-quality on most of the findings). As mentioned starting in the late 2010s and into the early 2020s, higher-quality finds have become easier; although this logo can be rather plain to begin with (though it's fine enough). The Landis variant is a funny running joke, especially for fans of that director and Animal House.
Universal Studios Hollywood & Florida
(June 11, 1993-December 22, 1999, June 22, 2001, 2007-February 24, 2012)
Logo: We see searchlights moving on a city skyline with the 1990s Universal Studios theme park logo in yellow and the words "Hollywood & Florida" in pink script. The outlining border shines.
- On Action Man, the words "PRODUCTION FACILITIES PROVIDED BY" are above the logo.
- A variant exists where "SEE THE STARS AND RIDE THE MOVIES!" is under the logo.
- On Blues Brothers 2000, the original white text fades out and "(ASK FOR BABS)" appears underneath instead.
Technique: 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: Same as the previous logo.
- Appears at the end of Universal films in theaters initially from mid-1993 to 1999, debuting on Jurassic Park and appearing on other Universal films such as Hard Target, Casper (1995), 12 Monkeys, Dragonheart, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and The Mummy (1999).
- For unexplained reasons, this logo was revived in 2007 and was used up to 2012 with films such as Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Fast & Furious (2009), Despicable Me, and up to Wanderlust (unsurprisingly, the final mainline film to use the 1997 Universal Pictures logo).
- It also appeared on some theatrical showings of The Fast and the Furious (2001), which may suggest this may have been used in tandem with the next logo, but this has yet to be confirmed.
- On home media, it can be seen on the 2022 Kino Lorber Studio Classics Blu-rays of Man on the Moon (coincidentally the final film to feature this logo in its first run), Out of Sight, and Mystery Men, finally showing up after almost 30 years of being absent from home media releases.
Legacy: It's decent if a bit basic advertising for the then-recently opened Florida park that did its job. How it was unexpectedly revived in 2007 is a mystery as that particular logo was long out of use. It is nice that the John Landis variant was carried over, though, even if for one film.
Universal Studios Theme Parks
1st Logo (1997-1999)
Logo Against a black background, the words "COME TO" fades in, then, the lens flare forms "UNIVERSAL STUDKIS THEME PARKS" with blue light rays emitting from it, as the light rays die down, the names of the locations of Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Florida "HOLLYWOOD, CA" and "ORLANDO, FL" fades in below. The words are set in the Universal Serif font.
Technique: The fading and formation of the words.
Music/Sounds: The music of the commercial with whooshes.
Availability Seen on Universal Studios Home Video VHS tapes from 1997 until 1999.
2nd Logo (December 29, 1999-2007)
Logo: On a black starry space background, the Universal globe (slightly less-detailed from the 1997 Universal Pictures logo) glows and eases back slightly as a ring revolves with "UNIVERSAL STUDIOS" above it and "THEME PARKS" below. The text shimmers while rotating and when it rests, the "UNIVERSAL STUDIOS" text shines.
Technique: The ring, the shining and shimmering, the glowing behind the globe.
Music/Sounds: The closing theme to the program or none.
- Seen at the end of Universal films in theaters from 1999 to 2007, such as The Hurricane (its debut) through sometime in 2007.
- It was also seen in the beginning of the promo on the 1999 VHS release of More Barney Songs, though it has not been seen on a high-definition format as of mid-2022.
- This may have also been used in tandem with the previous logo, but as mentioned before this has yet to be confirmed.
Legacy: A much more fitting logo for the then-recent Universal rebranding of 1997. It's not quite clear why this logo was pulled from Universal films after 2007, though.
Universal Parks & Resorts
(March 2, 2012-December 2, 2022)
Logo: We fade into a far-right, zoomed-in shot of the 1997-inspired Universal globe and starfield, albeit with blue nebulas. A white flash brightens, which is then followed by the word "UNIVERSAL" appearing from behind the globe and circling around it. As the text moves to its center position, a golden arc segues in and rotates into the view of the camera, stopping at the bottom of "UNIVERSAL" and revealing "PARKS & RESORTS" underneath. After the camera pans out to its usual distance, the arc shines and reflects the globe and text as they both cast a shadow behind it. The URL address (also in gold) finally appears under the globe before the logo fades out. Also, some clouds are added to the globe.
- Despite the globe, text, and background being based on the 1997 Universal Pictures logo, the animation is reminiscent of the one from 1990, albeit at a faster speed.
- The finished product looks identical to the Universal Parks & Resorts print logo that was used from 2002-2015.
- There is an open matte version seen on movies shot in 1.85:1.
- At the end of theatrical prints of Candyman (2021), the logo is still.
Technique: CGI animation.
Availability: No longer current, but still common.
- It appeared on theatrical prints of most Universal films after the credits from 2012 to 2022, starting with Illumination Entertainment's The Lorax (naturally, which was also the 2012 Universal logo's debut feature) and ending with Violent Night, along with theatrical screenings of DreamWorks Animation films from How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) to The Bad Guys (2022).
- On international theatrical prints of those films, this logo appears right after the dubbing credits.
- It also appears at the end of the 2021 Shout! Factory 4K UHD Blu-ray of Krampus, which marks the logo's official debut on home media.
- However, with the name rebranding to Universal Destinations & Experiences in 2023, it is currently unknown if a new logo will debut.
Legacy: Considered an interesting mix of the 1997 Universal logo's aesthetics with the 1990's animation. Unfortunately, the logo's strict use for theatrical presentations dooms it to obscurity. It's also worth noting the discrepancy in branding, with the globe and text inspired by the 1997 logo being used in contrast to the 2012 one (similar to the Universal Animation Studios logo), perhaps to reflect the theme park division's logo at the time (though it has since also been changed to a 2012-esque design).
- Official Website
- Universal Destinations & Experiences article on Wikipedia