It's not unheard of for theme parks to relaunch their looks. From "EuroDisney" becoming "Disneyland Paris" to "Epcot" returning to "EPCOT" or the debut of "Disney's Hollywood Studios," keeping up with the times sometimes means a branding refresh and sometimes the launch of entirely new logos.
No one knows that more than Universal Orlando, which has undergone several branding up- and down-grades since the original Universal Studios Florida park opened in 1999. But the most recent has fans scratching their heads... Was Universal serious with that unusual resort-wide rebrand that only lasted nine days? Take a look through Universal's four most recent "packages" of logos and let us know in the poll at the end, which do you think is the best look for this ever-evolving Orlando icon?
UOR Generation 1 (2002 - 2017)
If you've been to Universal Orlando Resort since about 2002 (when the short-lived and largely failed "Universal Studios Escape" moniker was dropped from the then-recently-expanded property), you're probably familiar with the set of logos below.
Both the Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Florida logo both resembled the "globe" logo then in use at the larger Universal Studios. Meanwhile, the logo for Universal's Islands of Adventure was a comic book-ready compass, colorful and saturated with an adventurous "tilt" and the park's name sweeping away in the style of "Indiana Jones". Likewise, Universal CityWalk was a colorful, vibey, modern asymmetrical cross between guitar picks and mid-century modernism with a hint of '90s grunge.
Altogether, this logo "package" lasted from 2002 to 2017 – at 15 years, the longest-lived branding for Universal Orlando.
UOR Generation 2 (2017 - 2023)
In 2012, then-new owner Comcast unveiled an updated logo for the corporate Universal division of their acquired NBCUniversal. The updated style guide took a while to trickle down to the Universal Parks & Resorts division, but in 2017, Universal Orlando Resort finally saw a new logo package rolled out.
Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Florida both swapped their aesthetic to the updated corporate logo, which basically cooled the colors of the globe, changed the setting to nighttime, and replaced the cinematic "Copperplate Gothic" typeface of old with a modern, san-serif font.
Even still, the logo for Universal's Islands of Adventure didn't change at all, retaining its more hand-drawn, stylized appearance. (Which may be because a giant, dimensional marquee with the logo resides on the park's Pharos Lighthouse which wouldn't be easy to swap or to adapt to the more modern, "flat" style of logo design.) Universal CityWalk was updated to a much more contemporary look, coinciding with a major shuffling of the retail and dining district's offerings.
And as luck would have it, the move also coincided with the opening of the resort's first on-site waterpark, Universal's Volcano Bay, whose logo was the epitome of the 2010s – flat, simple, and screen-printable with just a few colors.
The package got another addition when, in 2019, Universal announced their plans to open a third theme park, Universal's Epic Universe. Clearly drawn from the same design aesthetic as Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, the Epic Universe logo swapped Island's gold compass for a bronze astrolabe, with an inset of stars and carved art deco eccentricities, meant to convey the new park's more galactic, timeless, elemental design thesis.
You could certainly argue that the logos of "Generation 2" weren't all speaking the same "language." Even if some logos feel like they fit together, there were certainly several different styles all in play. Even so, it seemed likely that this logo package would last for at least as long as the previous one had... but it didn't. And things got weird... Read on...