Park Map: Universal Studios Florida 1998

I remember this trip very well; it was my first time at Universal Studios in Florida. At this point Islands of Adventure was just being built and many of the coasters of IOA were standing without much themeing. I vividly remember riding past what would become IOA and being a bit mad that it wasn’t open. Anyway, here’s the park map/brochure pamphlet. As always, you can click the image to enlarge.

Upon seeing this, my heart skipped a beat. I was a weather freak back in my middle school years and my favorite movie was Twister. Looking back I realize that the movie was full of bad science, but back then all I knew was that it had tornadoes and lightning…and it was cool!

The ride itself had riders stand on this large faux porch while a simulated thunderstorm and subsequent tornado tore through the set in front of it. It was pretty short, but pretty cool!

Here’s a good video of the Twister Ride.

Here’s another video from different angle showing some other effects such as the ‘windows’ breaking and the porch blowing apart.

Here’s the actual map. It doesn’t show anything other than the attractions. If you’re about to piss your pants looking for a bathroom, you are shit outta luck. This is only half of the actual page; below was a schedule showing opening/closing times. But we don’t care about that now do we…(edit: someone probably does)

Here’s some ride descriptions along with incredibly exaggerated images of each ride. I’ll tell you what, if the shit in the image for Terminator 2: 3-D actually happened, then the park would probably be sued multiple times! The people DO NOT look like they’re having fun at all; there’s even one dude being picked up by some robo hand. They gonna have a nuclear blast while they’re at it? That’d be fun, right??

To the left is an Islands of Adventure preview center ‘attraction.’ Several years later I would finally get to IOA.

Another page, another set of exaggerated imagery. The Kongfrontation photo features a suspended trolley full of riders being trounced by King Kong. Below that is a promo for Jaws showing the shark basically capsizing a boat full of riders. That never happened! The boat would friggin’ sink if it did! That wouldn’t be fun at all!

On the other side is a little something promoting their Character Breakfast. The dorky looking father seems to be fixing to kick Fred Flintstone’s ass for cozying up to his wife.

Below that is the now removed Nickelodeon Studios. I remember feeling a bit cheated for not getting to see a real show, a real ‘Nick celebrity’ or anything cool. Under that was a promo for WCW pro wrestling, back when they were doing shows at the Universal soundstages, before it all went to hell with bad booking and “creative control, brother.”

Well damn, the park basically had three things that I liked at that time: Nickelodeon, tornadoes, and pro wrestling! Only thing missing was the coasters, which would be remedied less than a year later.

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