One of the many things I adore about Universal Studios Florida is the homage to cinema everywhere you look. Your visit to the park means being a part of the movies for a day! But what if you had the chance to bring a little piece of the iconic filmography home? My love for movie magic led me to Williams of Hollywood Prop Shop.
Williams of Hollywood Prop Shop is located in the Beverly Hills section of Universal Studios Florida and provides a look at authentic props from the past. The décor, costumes, signs, and other neat items used in past attractions, during the park’s annual Halloween Horror Nights, and around the entire resort are on display for your viewing pleasure. During my visit, I couldn’t believe the quality of the items that had been preserved to look the same way they did on set years ago.
You might find the prop shop comparable to a museum – one that just so happens to include hand-painted dinosaur heads, life-size plaster cows, sky-high wigs, classic film strips and posters all under one roof.
It’s no doubt that Williams of Hollywood is like no other museum out there, but what exactly makes it such a hidden gem of Universal Orlando Resort? I spoke with Kevin Moritis of the Merchandising team to get his take on the shop. He offered up insights on what keeps fans coming back, as well as a great memory with the iconic Twister film’s tornado research devices, Dorothy I and II.
“Our biggest success has been Twister. Currently inside the shop is the ‘Flying Cow’ that was used in the ride itself. We also had the Dorothy III and Dorothy II. I had the pleasure of delivering Dorothy II to the guest that purchased it and his goal was to rehab some pieces of it and put it on his back porch. It’s always great to see a guest’s face when they remember something from the ride and see the piece in the store!”
To me, Ken’s story illustrates the best element of the shop: the unique ability to connect fans with pieces of cinema that can be cherished for a lifetime. This vision is what keeps the magic of props alive long after the camera stops rolling.
For all my film junkies out there – what are you hoping to find in your next visit to Williams of Hollywood Prop Shop? I know these zombies are dying to see you there!