One of the most common places to find Easter eggs at theme parks are in the windows. Whether it’s little nods to former attractions, credits to those that created the park, or even touching tributes, there may be something worth noticing along each pathway.
Here are 10 things to spot in and on the windows around Universal Studios Florida. Be sure to check out the video version of this article for additional visuals!
1. Twister’s Tributes
To the right of the marquee for Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon are two windows themed as old-fashioned newspaper offices. Since this attraction replaced Twister… Ride it Out, you can spot a few nods, including an advert for a fictional “Twister Cola,” as well as a shirt that looks like the one Bill Paxton was wearing in the preshow for the former attraction. (There used to also be a stapler that said “B. Paxton” on it, but it was swapped out for a plain one.)
Other fun nods to things around the park can be found on the newspapers hanging up, including its slogan, “A Newspaper with ‘Universal’ values.”
There are ads for some of the fake businesses you can find nearby, including Bull’s Gym, (which features Bullwinkle as its logo,) and the Regal Cafe, a facade across from Revenge of the Mummy. There’s a story about the World Expo, which is where “The Universe and You!” exhibit from Men in Black: Alien Attack comes from. And finally, there’s a mention of Paranormal Investigators, a reference to this location’s original tenant, the Ghostbusters.
2. Bustin’ Makes Me Feel Good
The special effects-filled Ghostbusters Spooktacular show opened with Universal Studios Florida in 1990, but it closed in 1996 and was replaced with Twister… Ride it Out.
The Ghostbusters show’s entrance was through the iconic firehouse facade, and even though the attraction was removed, this structure remained. As a small tribute to the former attraction, a window for a Paranormal Travel Agent, was added here.
3. Main Street-Like Credits
Between the Fallon entrance and firehouse facade is the facade for Metropolis Tribune. Most of the windows here have the names of people that helped design and build Universal Studios Florida, including Charlie Gundacker, the senior vice president of attractions development.
You can also find Mark Woodbury, the head of Universal Creative, on a window on the right side, where the roller coaster passes through the firehouse facade.
4. Universal’s Sid and Lew
Just like the windows of Main Street, U.S.A. at Disney Parks, the windows all around the New York backlot area feature the names of real people. Two of the company’s most important names can be found above Finnegan’s Bar and Grill: Sidney Sheinberg and Lew Wasserman.
Sid served as the head of Universal Studios for over twenty years, and was responsible for important moves in the industry, like hiring Steven Speilberg to direct JAWS.
Lew was one of the most important figures in film history, with a career spanning across nine decades. A statue of him can even be found nearby, in front of Louie’s Italian Restaurant, at the park.
5. Pantages Theater’s Heartfelt Tributes
In 2016, a few months after the horrific incident at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Universal installed this special window on their Pantages Theater building.
The window honors the names of six of the 49 victims, all of whom had worked at the resort, along with the words “Carrying messages of peace, love & hope to the stars.” The company also donated $1 million to the OneOrlando Fund.
Recently, another tribute was added to the theater, a window commemorating the life and achievements of Blaine Kern Sr., also known as Mr. Mardi Gras. Kern, along with his company Kern Studios, built Mardi Gras floats—not only for Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras parades, but also for the real events in New Orleans—for decades. He passed away in 2020 at the age of 93.
6. Pineapple Under the Sea
There’s plenty of fun things to spot in the windows along the street between Revenge of the Mummy and Transformers: The Ride 3D, where The Blues Brothers perform. Closer to the Transformers side there’s a facade for Adrienne’s Pet Shop.
In addition to the dog and cat supplies in the window displays, you can also find a shelf of fish tank decorations on the left-hand side, including one shaped like the Pineapple under the sea.
As we talked about in a previous Easter eggs article, you can get your photo taken with Gary the Snail inside of Spongebob’s pineapple-shaped home near E.T. Adventure. But if you know where to look, this little nod to the character is hiding in the corner of New York.
7. HHN’s Private Eye
To the left of the pet shop on the same street, there’s a second story window which reads “Boris Shuster, Private Investigations.” Fans of Halloween Horror Nights know that this was a character first introduced in 2008’s Reflections of Fear haunted house. In the backstory of the house, Boris was investigating the crimes of Bloody Mary.
Despite first appearing at the event in 2008, the window already featured his name before being incorporated into the lore of Halloween Horror nights. While only a small side character, Boris has gained notoriety in recent years, and you can even find shirts inspired by his window for sale online.
8. JAWS Hiding in London
When The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley took over the area where the JAWS ride once stood, they utilized props from the former attraction’s queue for the new land. One of these little nods can be spotted in the window for Mr. Mullpepper’s Apothecary near the ice cream parlor. There’s a set of shark jaws with teeth hiding behind some of the pots of herbs and spices.
Outside of Diagon Alley, along the London waterfront area, there’s a more intentional homage to the former ride. The record shop features an album in the window called “Here’s to Swimmin’ with Bow Legged Women,” an allusion to a line from the JAWS film. And the band is named “The Quint Trio,” likely after Quint, Hooper, and Chief Brody.
9. Disney World’s Defunct Rides?
Next door to the record shop in the London area is a book store facade. While the windows are filled with books, many labeled as classic stories (most likely as they’re in the public domain,) there are a couple grouped together behind the sign in the corner that caught my eye.
“Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” and “The Wind in the Willows” are sitting on the shelf together. While it could be a coincidence, it is interesting because both of these stories used to have their own Fantasyland attractions at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. There was the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage which closed in 1994, and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, (based on Walt Disney’s 1949 film adaptation of The Wind in the Willows,) which closed in 1998.
10. Kreacher is Watching
One last thing to spot around this area, you may have heard that you can find Kreacher the house elf, (who first appeared in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”,) in the window above the door to 12 Grimmauld Place. Every minute or so, he will reach his hand out and pull back the curtains to take a look outside, and then close the curtain again.
I have heard people say you have to knock on the door to make him appear, but that is definitely not the case. He seems to just show up randomly, which in my mind, is even creepier.
If you’d like to bring a bit of the parks home, you can now get the Butterbeer scented candle from Souvenir Scents in a candle tin or wax melt. Plus, new scents, like one based on the ET queue and more, have been released. Use promo code PARKSTOP10 to save 10% off your order at souvenirscents.com.
Click here to see more hidden things around the parks. And don’t miss the video version of this article for additional visuals. Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email below to never miss an update. Photos by Alicia Stella