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Universal Parks creative head Mark Woodbury gives keynote speech at IAAPA
POSTED 16 Nov 2015 . BY Alice Davis
Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative Credit: © 2014 Universal Orlando Resort
Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative Credit: © 2014 Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Parks and Resorts keeps its position as one of the leading attractions brands by always aiming higher, said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Parks and Resorts’ design and development group.

Giving the keynote conference speech at IAAPA today (16 November), Woodbury explained how the company’s past has shaped its DNA – as Steven Spielberg put it, to “ride the movies” - and how it plans to grow its success moving into the future.

“At Universal, the next thing we do has to be better than the last thing we did,” Woodbury said.

With an illustrious story so far, dating back to the opening of Universal Studios Hollywood in 1964, and with more recent successes in Japan and Singapore, Orlando remains the company's flagship park.

“Universal Studios Florida opened in 1990, with attractions developed off the back of Universal blockbusters and Spielberg blockbusters,” Woodbury said. “We had something really big, something unique, something different.”

King Kong, Jaws, ET, Back to the Future and Jurassic Park are just a few of the IPs that Universal famously transformed into park experiences.

“In 1999, Islands of Adventure opened, a whole new immersive world that brought some of the greatest intellectual properties to life in ways that were really compelling.”

The unprecedented success of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at the adjacent Universal Studios defines the current era for Universal, Woodbury said, and serve as an example of the “out-of-the-box thinking” that drives the company’s creative studios.

“Conventional thinking would have had us place Diagon Alley next to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” Woodbury said. “But we had a better idea - to connect the two parks with the Hogwarts Express, creating a two-part, one-story thematic experience.”

The Future

Looking to the future, Woodbury discussed the new King Kong attraction, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, which will open in Orlando in 2016.

“Visitors will go on an expedition to the heart of Skull Island, coming face to face with Kong as he wrestles a T-Rex in an epic battle,” Woodbury said. “As all hell is breaking loose, your car falls off the edge of a cliff and Kong saves it – and there’s more, but I can’t tell you.”

Next year Universal is also opening the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood, a Jurassic World ride in Japan, and a Jimmy Fallon ride, Volcano Bay waterpark and Sapphire Falls hotel in Orlando. The company has also recently announced it’s teamed up with Nintendo, and has “really fantastic” plans for the partnership, Woodbury said.

Woodbury pointed to the longevity and global appeal of the theme park brand, which is celebrating more than 50 years since the opening of its first theme park in Los Angeles, 25 years of Universal Studios Florida, 15 years of Universal Studios Japan and five years of Universal Studios Singapore.

Next is China, with Universal Studios Beijing opening in 2019.
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NEWS
Universal Parks creative head Mark Woodbury gives keynote speech at IAAPA
POSTED 16 Nov 2015 . BY Alice Davis
Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative Credit: © 2014 Universal Orlando Resort
Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative Credit: © 2014 Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Parks and Resorts keeps its position as one of the leading attractions brands by always aiming higher, said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Parks and Resorts’ design and development group.

Giving the keynote conference speech at IAAPA today (16 November), Woodbury explained how the company’s past has shaped its DNA – as Steven Spielberg put it, to “ride the movies” - and how it plans to grow its success moving into the future.

“At Universal, the next thing we do has to be better than the last thing we did,” Woodbury said.

With an illustrious story so far, dating back to the opening of Universal Studios Hollywood in 1964, and with more recent successes in Japan and Singapore, Orlando remains the company's flagship park.

“Universal Studios Florida opened in 1990, with attractions developed off the back of Universal blockbusters and Spielberg blockbusters,” Woodbury said. “We had something really big, something unique, something different.”

King Kong, Jaws, ET, Back to the Future and Jurassic Park are just a few of the IPs that Universal famously transformed into park experiences.

“In 1999, Islands of Adventure opened, a whole new immersive world that brought some of the greatest intellectual properties to life in ways that were really compelling.”

The unprecedented success of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at the adjacent Universal Studios defines the current era for Universal, Woodbury said, and serve as an example of the “out-of-the-box thinking” that drives the company’s creative studios.

“Conventional thinking would have had us place Diagon Alley next to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” Woodbury said. “But we had a better idea - to connect the two parks with the Hogwarts Express, creating a two-part, one-story thematic experience.”

The Future

Looking to the future, Woodbury discussed the new King Kong attraction, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, which will open in Orlando in 2016.

“Visitors will go on an expedition to the heart of Skull Island, coming face to face with Kong as he wrestles a T-Rex in an epic battle,” Woodbury said. “As all hell is breaking loose, your car falls off the edge of a cliff and Kong saves it – and there’s more, but I can’t tell you.”

Next year Universal is also opening the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood, a Jurassic World ride in Japan, and a Jimmy Fallon ride, Volcano Bay waterpark and Sapphire Falls hotel in Orlando. The company has also recently announced it’s teamed up with Nintendo, and has “really fantastic” plans for the partnership, Woodbury said.

Woodbury pointed to the longevity and global appeal of the theme park brand, which is celebrating more than 50 years since the opening of its first theme park in Los Angeles, 25 years of Universal Studios Florida, 15 years of Universal Studios Japan and five years of Universal Studios Singapore.

Next is China, with Universal Studios Beijing opening in 2019.
Sign up here to get the Attractions Management weekly ezine and every issue of Attractions Management magazine free on digital.
RELATED STORIES
TV star Jimmy Fallon to get own ride at Universal Orlando


US TV host Jimmy Fallon is getting his own ride at Universal Studios Orlando, with a new attraction coming to the theme park in 2017.
Harry Potter drives attendance as Universal racks up record numbers for Q3


Universal has continued its theme park growth spearheaded by Harry Potter, with parent company Comcast reporting record attendance at its theme parks in Orlando and California.
Universal Japan reveals Jurassic Park coaster coming in 2016


Universal Studios Japan (USJ) has announced plans for a Jurassic Park-themed flying coaster, with a ¥10bn (US$83.4m, €74.2m, £54.9m) investment into the B&M- manufactured ride.
Universal signs JV deal with Chinese government for C¥50bn development of Universal Studios Beijing


Universal’s C¥50bn US$7.85bn (€6.93bn, £5bn) largest theme park ever will open in China in 2019, after the company received the green light from Beijing authorities.
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World Food Center Experience will be ‘Silicon Valley’ of food
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Creative legends behind iconic ​​Spider-Man ride team to give talk at IAAPA Expo
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WhiteWater was born in 1980 to create places where families unite and make joyful lasting memories [more...]
Antonio Zamperla Spa

Founded in 1966, the Antonio Zamperla SPA is privately owned by Mr Alberto Zamperla. Located in Vi [more...]
TechnoAlpin

The TechnoAlpin SnowRoom is the most attractive and effective way for customers to cool down from h [more...]
Vekoma Rides Manufacturing B.V.

Vekoma Rides has a large variety of coasters and attractions. [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Red Raion presents Moby Dick – Friends to the rescue! at IAAPA Expo Barcelona
Red Raion, the CGI studio specialising in media-based attractions, will be attending this year’s IAAPA Expo Europe. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

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More videos:
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+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

24-25 Nov 2021

Scotland’s National Tourism Industry Conference

EICC, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
01-07 Dec 2022

World Leisure Congress 2022

tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
+ More diary  
 


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