When Universal Studios Orlando opened in 1990, the idea was to have a real working studio alongside some movie-themed rides. In 1999, Universal Orlando opened Islands of Adventure, a second park packed with more thrill attractions to get attention. Things really took off with the opening of a Harry Potter section in 2010 that soon had Universal outdoing Disney in attendance. Over the years, the parks have been huge hits with a variety of popular rides and attractions that bring to life with everything from The Simpsons to Men in Black.
Just like Disney, Universal relies on a lot of merchandise to boost their coffers. Most are of t-shirts, hats and other items themed to the rides. From a T-Rex doll to a Simpsons license plate, a lot of them are affordable and aimed for families. However, some souvenirs are majorly priced for the rich set. That includes items at the Williams of Hollywood store that boasts stuff from movies as well as past Universal attractions. Plus, other exclusive items that always get attention. Sure, a few may break the wallet for a normal person but someone with a celebrity’s bankroll can have them around the house.
Here are 25 of the most expensive souvenirs you can get at Universal Orlando and how they can outdo Disney in terms of fun items.
24 All Spark $150
Alongside the huge explosions and major stuns, the Transformers movies have a rather complex mythology. It revolves around the All Spark, a cube of energy that gives them life and can be used to transform entire worlds. Possession of it is usually what drives the plot of the movies with the Autobots trying to keep it safe from the Decepticons. That includes the Transformers ride where guests are on a chase for the cube. So it makes sense that a big souvenir is a recreation of the All Spark that lights up and shows one segment of the Transformers universe that’s easy to have at home.
23 Firebolt $350
Many critics hold Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey as the best theme park attraction on the planet. It mixes live-action simulator, huge screens and special effects for an experience that never ceases to wow fans. A scene includes Harry flying on his Firebolt broom for an adventure. At the gift shop, fans can buy a replica Firebolt for about $350 on a nice stand. Sure, you can’t actually fly on it but it is still fun to have.
22 Wizarding Chess Set $400
Universal took a major step in the theme park wars with the opening of the Harry Potter land. Fans went wild for the recreation of Hogwarts and Diagon Alley and the rides were huge hits. A section at the other park linked them together to bring the entire world to life. The stores are packed with slews of terrific gifts modeled after the books and movies. Among them is this fantastic chess set replicating the second film’s key scene with lovely detailed figures. It goes for over four hundred dollars, but it is worth it for the major fans who want to play chess like a wizard.
21 Light-Up Transformers Bust $450
A recent addition to the main Universal park has been a Transformers attraction. It mixes a motion simulator with a huge 3-D screen to put fans in a battle between the transforming robots for some epic thrills. As is regular for a theme park, when you exit the ride, you make your way through a gift-shop boasting just about any Transformers merchandise you want. The highlights are amazing light-up busts of major characters like Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, and Megatron. They can fetch a big price but will definitely look nice on a shelf.
20 Spider-Man Statue $500
The Marvel section of Islands of Adventure opened before Disney bought Marvel. Thus, you have the odd bit of how two separate theme parks can boast Marvel characters. Universal has an edge with the acclaimed Spider-Man ride that often tops lists of the best theme park rides in the world. Exiting it leads fans to a shop packed with everything from comic issues to amazing Marvel souvenirs. That includes a selection of great Spider-Man statues that replicate the movies and the classic comics well. One can be as much as $500 but shows how Universal can still handle Marvel well.
19 Beetlejuice Sign $600
Opened in 1992, Beetlejuice’s Rock and Roll Graveyard Revue was a surprise smash hit. The show had a few different versions but still popular for the nutty ghost leading the classic Universal monsters in some song and dance numbers with comedy skits. When Universal announced plans to shut it down, a massive fan outcry erupted yet it still closed in 2016. Thus, fans are eager to get their hands on everything from the costumes of the performers to this huge sign as a reminder of what some call the best show the park has ever had.
18 Dumbledore Robe $700
Obviously, the Harry Potter sections of the park offer a variety of robes for the kids. They’re themed to the different Houses of Hogwarts. But some are more upscale for adults and even meant to be worn regularly. That includes a replica of Dumbledore’s elegant robes. Some robes of his can go higher depending on whether or not you add some decoration to it, but seven hundred dollars is more than enough for some robes.
17 Egyptian Vase $900
The Revenge of the Mummy ride is a fun one at Universal. The guests walk through a movie set and are told about a curse that was placed on the set they walk on. Naturally, this leads to a wild ride mixing thrills and special effects. The motif continues as you exit into the gift shop, which offers a variety of authentic Egyptian stuff. That includes some vases, many designed just like the ancient works. They can sell for several hundred dollars.
16 Dinosaur Stone Necklace $900
This isn’t as well-known as other souvenirs but does fetch a pretty penny. In Jurassic Park at Islands of Adventure is a recreation of the Visitors Center from the movies. There, you can buy just about any dinosaur-themed gift you can imagine, most aimed at kids. But for the adults, there are some pricey gifts too. That includes gems created out of the same classic limestone that you’d find dinosaur fossils in, colored and specially crafted. They can go for almost $900.
15 clown Prop $1000
Universal helped make the horror movie as we know it with their classics. To this day, their Horror Make-Up Show is a major hit showing how these creatures were created. The theater is also a museum of Universal’s horror past with a lot of great props. Several of the older props can make their way to shops for sale. A few can be sold for enough of a price that it is considered something special to own, such as this clown prop.
14 Terminator Head $1000
T2: 3-D was a stunning attraction that mixed live action with a brand new 3-D movie directed by James Cameron with Arnie reprising his iconic role. The attraction was loved for blending the action together, paired with the iconic effects. The attraction was closed down in 2017, but people still talk about it. Still remaining is a gift shop packed with plenty of Terminator memorabilia. That includes a full bust of the famed robot head complete with gleaming eyes.
13 Disaster Sign $1200
Originally Earthquake, the Disaster attraction was famous for having guests interact with a holographic Christopher Walken as a nutty movie director. Guests would be used as “extras” for a disaster flick and then riding a subway car caught in an earthquake that would be turned into a “movie” featuring Dwayne Johnson. The attraction closed down in 2016 despite a good following but the props for it have made their way to the Williams of Hollywood shop. They include some of the street signs, mock movie posters and even the attraction signs themselves. They’re expensive but it would be a great addition to anyone's wall.
12 Dr. Seuss Print $1500
Most of Islands of Adventure is for adults and teens with thrill rides. The exception is the Dr. Seuss section which recreates the world of the famed storyteller. There are tons of souvenirs there, many affordable for younger guests. However, there are also original prints by Seuss himself of his classic stories. From the Cat in the Hat to the Grinch and others, many of these are one-of-a-kind and thus fetch a very high price.
11 Jaws Mermaid $1500
While it opened later than the rest of the park, the Jaws ride was a major attraction at Universal. Guests boarded a boat that had them going face-to-face with a giant robot shark to attack the boat for some thrills. The attraction is gone but the props of it remain on sale at the popular Williams of Hollywood store. That includes this mermaid statue, used as a prop at the boathouse where the shark attacks guests. While the shark itself isn’t for sale, this is still a good reminder of one of the iconic attractions of the park.
10 Dinosaur Head $1800
The Jurassic Park section of Islands of Adventure is always a popular area. It boasts a great water ride with life-size robot dinos and other attractions that work in the classic franchise. Right now, the main water ride is going to be closed down for a refurbishment which means several of the classic dino heads will soon be on sale. Sure, you’d have to shell out nearly two grand but who wouldn’t want a monster T-Rex or Raptor head on the wall to freak out guests? There will be more of these on sale once the ride is redone to take part of the Jurassic world home with you.
9 Life-Size Iron Man $2000
It’s still up in the air how Universal is going to handle their rides with Disney owning Marvel. Right now, they still have the rights to attractions in Orlando with big names like Iron Man but that could change. Which means fans may have to act soon to grab this life-size Iron Man suit on sale at the main Marvel shop at Islands of Adventure. It replicates one of Tony Stark’s great armors, showing just how powerful Stark is. It might be a good grab before Marvel leaves Universal for good.
8 Shark Model $2000
Sadly, while popular, the Jaws ride had a bad reputation in terms of maintenance. Mixing a boat ride with a complex robot shark meant constant breakdowns and too much time making it all work. Thus, it wasn’t too surprising when the attraction finally closed down in early 2012. Since then, the props have made their way to the Williams of Hollywood store, including this model shark. It can be sold for two grand.
7 King's Throne
This is a nutty and a very large souvenir but that just makes it fun. The Revenge of the Mummy attraction is a thrilling indoor roller coaster packed with special effects to thrill fans. In the nearby souvenir shop, you can shop for Egyptian themed items. There, you can buy a “King’s Throne” for nearly three thousand dollars. You may have to clear off a lot of space in your home for it but it would make for a great chair to show off for guests and a seat to make you feel truly regal.
6 Hammerhead Shark $2900
Sure, the Great White gets attention but the Jaws attraction was fun for how it mixed in some other things that weren't necessarily in the movie. This fits perfectly. The item for sale is a cheesy hammerhead wrapped in netting, just the kind of thing you’d expect at some small coastal town. The shark now goes for more than the actual Great White model thanks to how unique it is.
5 Giant Woody Woodpecker $3000
While the adults have plenty to enjoy at Universal Studios, there’s a need for the kids to have some fun too. A special section is devoted to Woody Woodpecker with a huge playground, a mini-coaster and some characters abounding. That nutty bird has been a favorite for decades and the entire area captures his chaotic humor. You can bring it home with a huge statue of Woody that used to be a prop for the coaster. It goes for over three grand but is in excellent detail to make it a funny bird to bring home to roost.
4 Twister Prop $4000
For years, a popular show at Universal was Twister: Ride It Out. It replicated the 1996 hit movie by having guests be put inside a tornado come to life. The show got attention for its amazing effects and how it could destroy a trailer park and have it be put right back to normal in time for the next pack of guests. The attraction closed in 2015 after a good long run but still remains a favorite of fans. Today, the props for it can be found at Williams of Hollywood and can fetch a good price. This chicken weather vane can go for four grand and it’s just one way to remember a long-running Universal show.
3 Twister Cow $5000
The most famous moment of Twister is easily when a cow is seen flying across the screen in the air. It’s so offbeat but it stands out nicely for a fun moment that made the movie a hit. The Twister attraction naturally used it with a CGI cow flying by as well as a prop cow for the queue area. With the attraction closed, the cow is now on sale for five grand and could be a fun reminder of one of the more underrated attractions Universal provided.
2 Terminator $6000
If a T-800 bust costs a lot, then it just makes sense that a full endoskeleton is a hefty buy. While the Terminator attraction is long closed, there’s still a shop of its gear in the main park. The centerpiece is a full life-size model of the classic killer robot created by the late Stan Winston. It comes complete with a plasma rifle and is a very dominating sight. It would take a true fan to shell out over six grand for it but some are pretty dedicated to the film. This may be an expensive keepsake but showcases how popular the movie is.
1 Marvel Statues $7200
Across the Marvel Island portion of Islands of Adventure are various super-hero statues. They’re usually placed around for decoration including a huge one for the Hulk coaster. Amazingly, these are actually for sale if fans want them although it’s a hefty price. It can be upward of $6500 plus more for shipping and handling. It also means clearing out a lot of space in your home for it yet some might want to dish out the cash to have a true symbol of Marvel power in their place.
Sources: OrlandoInformer, ShopUniversal.com