One of the best perks about Universal Studios Hollywood is the Backlot Tram Tour. It opened in the 1960s as a feature attraction and to this day it still continues to give people a reason to come back to the park because it’s always evolving and no single tour is ever the same. Now you’ve been given a whole new reason to come ride the hour-long ride through Hollywood magic with the addition of Jupiter’s Claim, one of the sets from the brand new Jordan Peele film, NOPE.
Jupiter’s Claim is a small western-themed amusement park out in the California desert. Guests who take the tram tour will enter Jupiter’s Claim and be able to see the magic of this beautiful little park complete with a petting zoo, an ice cream shop, and a souvenir shop. However, all is not what it seems and as guests take in the majesty of Jupiter’s Claim they might experience something unexplainable.
I was fortunate enough to be invited by Universal to not only experience what guests will on the tram, but I was allowed to exit the tram and wander through the set of Jupiter’s Claim. What was astonishing to me was that this set, which was taken apart and rebuilt on the Universal Backlot, is rich with so many details. The ice cream shop does actually have a counter to serve people. The souvenir shop is chock full of different stuffed animals, coffee mugs, and cheesy amusement park shirts. There are several Wanted posters that have full descriptions of outlaws. The trashed-out “Star Lasso Experience” contains all of the Slurpee cup souvenirs that guests suddenly left behind.
Most interesting to me were the amount of small plush “alien” dolls scattered around the park. I found around a half dozen and all of them left me feeling uneasy. I have yet to see the film so this was intriguing to me and only made me want to see the film more. In fact, this whole set and the experience on the tram doesn’t give away any spoilers for the movie so it plays off as a really great marketing tool by Universal.
Building off of that, this addition to the tour is the first time a film and an attraction at Universal theme parks have ever opened simultaneously. I also got word that this experience will be a priority for all tram tours, meaning that if your tour is running behind or had to adjust for whatever reason, you’ll still likely get the chance to see Jupiter’s Claim. That’s good news for those of you who aren’t so keen on the 3D experiences as Jupiter’s Claim will be prioritized over the adjacent Fast and the Furious attraction that requires 3D glasses.
As a long-time Universal Backlot Tram Tour fan who’s been on it dozens of times, I’m happy to see an addition like this not only be timely but also so immersive. I’d recommend the tram tour at night or closer to dusk as I think the experience will only be heightened. I also can’t wait to see how this set will integrate into Halloween Horror Nights, something that many are speculating on. I guess we’ll know fairly soon as Autumn is creeping up.
Jupiter’s Claim officially becomes a part of the tour on July 22nd, 2022. Tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood can be found online at UniversalStudiosHollywood.com and guidelines for covid precautions as well as requirements to enter the park can be found on their website.
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