The new Universal Studios Store officially opened at Universal CityWalk Orlando recently, offering the resort a larger and sleeker flagship shop.
As I spent my first hour touring the new store, among the Potter merchandise and VelociCoaster apparel-clad mannequins, I noticed there were well over 50 unique pieces of theme park construction plans.
These blueprints and ride schematics are being used in displays above nearly every single product shelf, as well as the background image for signage itself… And honestly, checking them all out was like being a kid in a candy store for me.
Now, before we really get into the photos of plans—which include classic attraction facades, new ride vehicles, and more—let’s touch on what the store is. It’s a 8,300-square foot store in CityWalk that replaced four smaller retail spaces so Universal Orlando would have a larger place to sell merchandise representing all of their popular theme park properties. Check out the video below for a full tour of what you can find here.
I have heard some complaints that the new store is not as themed as they expected it to be, and granted the concept art did make it seem like it was going to feature some themed areas within the store, but I have to say the look and feel grew on me the more time I spent inside.
The store is split into three distinct sections, a Harry Potter area on the left third, a general Universal Studios area in the center, and an intellectual properties area on the right. The store is accentuated by clean lines, blue and wood paneling that Universal has used in CityWalk as of late, and a nice use of space with an easy-to-understand layout.
But it’s those blueprints hiding in the literal background of each display that help to tie all of the store’s aesthetics together. The Potter areas include a unique lighting display on the ceiling that is reminiscent of floating candles for instance. Whereas the middle of the store features a large round screen showing off clips from around the resort. But both areas feature beautiful blueprint-style artwork.
Universal Orlando recently rebranded the smaller, former Universal Store as the new Universal Legacy Store. In it you can find tons of actual props from old attractions, as well as concept art, photographs, and even models from the development of rides.
We figured this new theme park store would just focus on newer properties, and leave the Legacy store to the, well, legacy stuff. But some of the designs for the new store are from before the original Universal Studios Florida opened in 1990 as well.
And these do appear to be actual building plans, just blown up and printed for display. Some are so large they’re used as backdrops for the store’s window displays, like the two park icons, the Universal Studios Florida arch and the lighthouse of Islands of Adventure, seen below.
So, without further ado, here are all of the blueprints you can find at the new Universal Studios Store in CityWalk Orlando, in order from the front to the back. Starting with some classic structures from Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure and ending with the finer details of areas of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
See how many different structures from around the parks you recognize.
Now, it does appear that some of these first images have been cleaned up before being added to the store. You’ll see in some of the later ones however, that finer details, including text descriptions, are often included.
I believe the next couple are Thunder Falls Terrace in Jurassic Park at Islands of Adventure.
This next one for Seuss Landing’s Cat in the Hat includes one of, if not the only, picture to include a ride path layout.
Some more from Islands of Adventure, including some detailed plans for the park’s iconic lighthouse.
Marvel Super Hero Island and the Incredible Hulk Coaster are next.
Jumping now to Universal Studios Florida, you can find plans for The Simpsons Ride and Duff Brewery above products related to The Simpsons in the store.
Here are a couple images from Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. I love that they used Gru to represent the height of a person in the first one!
Next up are several images that appear to be for plans of the New York backlot areas of Universal Studios Florida.
There are also a couple plans for the structures at the front of the park, in Production Central, that represent the administration buildings, and one for the iconic globe.
Since the Harry Potter section of the new store is by far the largest area, you’ll find the most pieces of concept art and plans there. The first are a couple for The Flying Hippogriff, including one for the load station and another, highly detailed, Hagrid’s hut image. (Click on any photo to see a larger version.)
Next up are some plans for structures in Hogsmeade Village and Hogwarts Castle. Zoom in for some notes, including details on snow for the roof and more.
You may notice the next few images use the codename “Project Strongarm.” The first Wizarding World land was reportedly called that due to the use of the KUKA arm technology for the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride.
Next up are some images from Three Broomsticks and Hogshead Pub.
Jumping now to the other park, and some pieces showcasing The Leaky Cauldron at Diagon Alley.
This next image is for a stack of moving books in a window display in Diagon Alley.
Diagon Alley entrance as seen from inside Diagon.
Next two are for the London facades outside of Diagon Alley.
Gringotts exterior and ride vehicle seating design shown below.
And finally, two images from Ollivanders Wand store. I am not sure which location, but it may be one from each land.
That’s going to do it for this look around the various pieces of concept plans in the new Universal Studios Store at CityWalk Orlando. I hope you found it as fascinating as I have!
There are a couple more images to spot around the store, most notably in the window displays, (like the partial Kwik-E-Mart image below,) but they’re hard to photograph during the day due to glare on the glass, or were completely blocked by merchandise.
Stay tuned for more theme park news and updates, and subscribe to the news feed or enter you email address below to never miss an update. Photos: Alicia Stella
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