In an unprecedented collaboration, Universal Orlando Resort and the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando, Fla., present A Year in the Life: Backstage to Onstage at Universal Orlando Resort, an exhibition that gives visitors an exclusive look at the extensive process that goes into bringing the theme park’s iconic annual events to life. Opening January 26, 2013, and running through January 5, 2014, the exhibition will change with each Universal Orlando event season: Mardi Gras, Halloween Horror Nights, and the holidays – focusing on The Macy’s Holiday Parade and performances by Holiday Music Sensation Mannheim Steamroller. It also showcases the creative process that brought to life two of Universal Orlando’s newest entertainment experiences – the Universal Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories lagoon show and the Universal Superstar Parade.
Universal Orlando is the only Orlando destination where guests are not just entertained – they become part of the most exhilarating entertainment ever created. Guests can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, be transformed into a banana-loving minion in the hilarious and heartwarming Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride and help Shrek save Princess Fiona in Shrek 4-D. And this unique collaboration between the museum and Universal Orlando will be the first time the public will be able to learn about each step in the story development process that brings the theme park’s entertainment experiences and annual events to life.
Participating in Backstage to Onstage is just one of the ways Universal Orlando is bringing its creative process to life for the community. Universal Orlando is also partnering with Orange County Public Schools on a program called “The Art of Tomorrow,” an entire curriculum that involves middle school children in the creative process behind developing attractions and special events. The program is designed to show students the wide range of career opportunities that exist in the arts – something the History Center exhibition will also do.
“The entertainment industry has impacted our local history dramatically, making Orlando one of the premiere tourist destinations in the world,” said Sara Van Arsdel, executive director of the History Center. “I think visitors will be intrigued by the seismic shift Orlando’s history experienced moving from a focus on agriculture and cattle to aerospace and theme park entertainment.”
The Orange County Regional History Center, housed in a restored historic five-story 1927 courthouse in downtown Orlando, showcases the vast collection of the Historical Society of Central Florida, Inc. The museum features four floors of permanent exhibits and also presents nationally important limited-run exhibitions. The museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
The History Center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. General admission is $9, seniors (60+), students and military with I.D. $7, and children ages 5-12 $6. Historical Society Members and children ages 4 and under are free. Parking is available at the adjacent Orlando Public Library garage on Central Blvd. A self-guided Audio Tour of the museum’s permanent exhibits is available free of charge with admission into the museum. For general information, call (407) 836-8500 or visit www.thehistorycenter.org/exhibits/upcoming.