Did you know that Universal Orlando hides Easter eggs in their Christmas decorations? Each year, the Universal Studios Florida holiday decorations feature ornaments honoring some of the park’s extinct attractions. There is no official list and most people don’t even know they exist. Some of them are very tiny and hidden, so we’ve done our best to hunt down as many of these extinct attraction ornaments as we can find.
If you want to find the ornaments yourself, stop reading now. There will be spoilers ahead! If you just want a hint, here’s one: The ornaments are usually (but not always) near or facing where the defunct attraction was located. If you just want to know the defunct attractions that are represented, so you have an idea of what to look for, here’s a list:
- Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of Making Movies
- Back to the Future: The Ride
- Dynamite Nights Stunt Spectacular
- Fievel’s Playland
- The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera
- Ghostbusters Spooktacular
- Hercules and Xena: Wizards of the Screen
- Lucy: A Tribute
- T2-3D: Battle Across Time
- Twister…Ride It Out
For the first time this year, Universal Islands of Adventure also got in on the tradition with ornaments referencing Dueling Dragons, Poseidon’s Fury, and The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show. Now, let’s take a look at the ornaments we found at Universal Studios Florida.
Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of Making Movies
Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of Making Movies was an opening-day show at Universal Studios Florida. It included 3-D film and live-action segments. It ran until 2003 and was replaced by Shrek 4-D.
The referential ornament can be found on garland outside Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show.
The ornament is black with a glittering, bloody fake kitchen knife sticking out of it. The ornament keeps with the black and white movie theme, other than the glittering red blood.
This is inspired by “Psycho,” which was featured in Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of Making Movies.
Back to the Future: The Ride
Back to the Future: The Ride opened in 1991 at Universal Studios Florida and closed in 2007 to make way for The Simpsons Ride.
A glittering DeLorean time machine is attached to this East Green sign with red tinsel. The sign is in the Central Park area, not far from the life-size DeLorean and time-traveling train still displayed next to Springfield.
Dynamite Nights Stunt Spectacular
Dynamite Nights Stunt Spectacular was a live stunt show inspired by “Miami Vice,” performed in the lagoon of Universal Studios Florida with actors on jet skies, explosions, and pyrotechnics.
The show ran for 10 years from 1990 to 2000.
To represent Dynamite Nights Stunt Spectacular, two jet ski ornaments are hidden in the garland on the Eagle Warehouse & Storage Co. façade, next to Starbucks, facing the lagoon.
On the corner of the balcony is a red jet ski.
On the garland going above the awning is a blue jet ski.
This one has a driver wearing a Santa hat.
Fievel’s Playland opened in 1992 at Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone and closed earlier this year with the rest of the land.
In honor of the defunct playground, an image of Fievel is hidden in this wreath hanging above the Kitty Kat Club façade, next to The Film Vault on the streets of New York.
Fievel is at the bottom of the wreath, peeking out of a pink high heeled shoe ornament.
The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera
The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera was a ride named after the 1980s / 1990s programming block that featured various Hanna-Barbera characters.
The ride was an opening day attraction at Universal Studios Florida in 1990. Guests joined Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo to save Elroy Jetson from Dick Dastardly and Muttley. It closed in 2002.
This merchandise kiosk at the Universal Music Plaza has garland around its awning, and at one corner is Rosey the robot from “The Jetsons.”
“Ghostbusters Spooktacular” ran from the opening of Universal Studios Florida into late 1996. It was replaced by Twister…Ride It Out, which was then replaced by Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.
The attraction’s old façade, inspired by the Ghostbusters’ firehouse headquarters, remains in the park’s New York section.
During the holidays, a wreath is hung on the firehouse door. The wreath is decorated with marshmallows, in reference to the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.
Green slime is on a pair of marshmallows and a silver ornament on the bottom of the wreath.
Hercules and Xena: Wizards of the Screen
“Hercules and Xena: Wizards of the Screen” was a live-action stunt show that opened in 1997 in Production Central and remained until 2000. Transformers: The Ride 3D took over the space 13 years later.
The attraction is represented on this garland by Xena’s chakram ring weapon.
The garland is wrapped around one of the poles in the outdoor seating area of Mel’s Drive-In, not far from Transformers: The Ride 3D.
The Jaws ride, another opening-day attraction, closed permanently in 2012 to make way for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. It was an expanded version of a section that remains in the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood.
To honor Jaws, a shark ornament is in this garland on the side of the Starbucks location in Universal Studios Florida.
The glittering shark is wearing a tall Santa hat.
But that’s not the only shark!
The garland over the exit of Starbucks also has a shark in a Santa hat.
Kongfrontation placed guests on an aerial tram as they attempted to evacuate Roosevelt Island during King Kong’s rampage. The opening-day attraction closed in 2002 and was replaced by Revenge of the Mummy. A new King Kong ride, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, has since opened in Universal Islands of Adventure.
The reference to Kongfrontation is on the corner of the Sahara Traders façade, next to the Museum of Antiquities entrance of Revenge of the Mummy.
A large King Kong figure appears to be dangling from some garland on the corner of the building.
Lucy: A Tribute
Lucy: A Tribute was a museum dedicated to Lucille Ball that opened in Universal Studios Florida in 1992. It closed in 2015 and the space was later taken over by the Hello Kitty Store. The tribute to Lucy: A Tribute is on garland around the side of the Brown Derby.
A bottle of Vitameatavegamin is tucked into the garland.
Lucy advertises Vitameatavegamin in the “I Love Lucy” episode “Lucy Does a TV Commercial.”
T2-3D: Battle Across Time
Next to The Bourne Stuntacular entrance in the park’s Hollywood section, guests may spot a reference to T2-3D: Battle Across Time, a.k.a. Terminator 2: 3D.
T2-3D: Battle Across Time was a stunt show at Universal Studios Florida, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Universal Studios Japan. It opened in Florida in 1996, then in Universal Studios Hollywood in 1999 and Universal Studios Japan in 2001. The Florida version closed in 2017 and was replaced by The Bourne Stuntacular.
The Hollywood version closed in 2013 and the Japan version closed in 2020.
The subtle ornament homage to T2-3D: Battle Across Time is on the side of this large wreath.
A sparkly Terminator skull is just barely visible among the silver and red ornaments.
Twister…Ride It Out
Last but not least, a reference to Twister…Ride It Out is on this façade next to Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, which replaced the attraction.
Twister…Ride It Out, inspired by the 1996 “Twister” film, opened in 1998 and closed in 2015. During the show, guests experienced a simulated twister, during which various props and set pieces — including a cow — moved around the soundstage.
There are three cow ornaments in the garland above this doorway, one in the center, and one at each end.
The cows are all wearing red Santa hats.
Watch our video of all the “Easter egg” ornaments in Universal Studios Florida:
Which defunct attraction ornament is your favorite? Let us know in the comments and let us know if there are any that we missed!