Awesome Easter Eggs At Universal Studios

Over the last 27 years, Universal Studios has cemented itself as a premiere destination for movie lovers and thrill-seekers. Thanks to the addition of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and new rides featuring Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon and King Kong, Universal Studios is more popular than ever. But we uncovered a few Easter eggs you didn't know about, that are sure to make your next visit even more magical:

Jaws lives in Diagon Alley

You're gonna need a bigger park — at least, Universal did, to make room for the expansion of their mega-popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter. After opening the Hogsmeade section in Islands of Adventure in 2010, Universal officially announced it would be opening a second section modeled after Diagon Alley, but in the adjacent Universal Studios Florida park. Unfortunately, to make space for extra Potter magic, it meant shutting down one of the Universal's oldest, most beloved Muggle attractions: Jaws. The attraction and its surrounding Amity Island section had been part of Universal since its opening in 1990, but was shuttered in 2012 as construction began.

While the terrifying great white may be gone, he's not forgotten. In fact, remnants from the old Jaws attraction and Amity Island have been secretly scattered throughout Diagon Alley, just waiting to be spotted by clever witches and wizards. Keep your eyes peeled for a shark jawbone in the apothecary shop windows next to Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor. Should you find yourself perusing the dark arts in Knockturn Alley, listen closely to the shrunken heads who occasionally sing Quint, Brody, and Hooper's favorite tune, "Show Me the Way to Go Home." And speaking of Quint, see if you can spot a record called "Here's to Swimmin' With Bow-legged Women" by the Quint Trio in a record shop in the London/Grimmauld Place section just outside Diagon Alley.

Hidden signatures in Superhero Island

Though ongoing legal complications between Marvel's new parent company Disney and Universal over theme park rights are less-than-super, for the time being, Superhero Island at Islands of Adventure is still home to many of your favorite Marvel heroes from Spider-Man to Hulk. It's also essentially a giant art gallery for noted comic book artist Adam Kubert. While Kubert has also drawn for DC Comics, he's most well-known for his work at Marvel on series featuring Wolverine and the X-Men, so it makes sense Universal would commission Kubert to do the artwork throughout Superhero Island.

For some villainous reason, Kubert wasn't allowed to sign any of his park illustrations. However, he managed to hide his signature inside at least 22 of his cartoon creations. Like "Hidden Mickeys" at Disney World, Kubert created the "Hidden Adams," which have many fanboys and fangirls meticulously scanning the park to find them. While some are in obvious locations, like Captain America's arm or the Hulk's hand, many are cleverly concealed. Looks like you may need to use your X-ray vision!

Use a secret park entrance with literally no wait

Thanks to the additions of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Orlando, average yearly park attendance has skyrocketed over the last several years. That means during peak summer days, spring break, and the holiday season when visitors are packing the parks, you'll be facing long lines just to get inside.

While you can always purchase tickets ahead of time, you can also use a super-secret side-entrance near the Blue Man Group Theater, whose little-to-no wait time will have you feeling anything but blue. To get there, follow the pathway from Universal CityWalk toward the Blue Man Group Theater. Rather than heading inside the theater like a total Tobias Funke, make a right towards the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit coaster. You'll come to a simple kiosk where a park attendant will most likely be overjoyed to have someone to interact with. There's not even a turnstile!

Heads up: this entrance is only for those with pre-purchased tickets, and usually opens between 10 and 11 AM, so if you forgot to buy ahead or want earlier access, you'll still have to brave the crowds at the main gate.

Get an insider tour and jump to the front of the line

When it first opened in 1990, the original plan was for Universal Studios Orlando to operate as a functional movie studio like its Hollywood sibling, but also offer theme park attractions. Unfortunately, the film production part never really took off the way the company intended, so the Orlando park switched its focus to attractions that either placed visitors inside a familiar film, or gave them a behind-the-scenes-style experience. While the Studio Tour is still the main draw at the Hollywood location, Universal said "that's a wrap" to its official backlot tour at the Florida park after just five short years.

But that doesn't mean you can't still get an up-close-and-personal look at some of your favorite films and attractions. All you have to do is ask. At the Men in Black: Alien Attack ride, you can get a special tour of the immigration room if the ride isn't super busy. Just speak to one of the team members inside, and they will escort you around the ground floor, where you can peek through alien transport papers, old tabloids, and hobnob with a few legal aliens. And if you're really lucky, the team member may just escort you all the way to the front of the line. It's an experience you'll be sure to remember ... unless Agents J and K wipe it all from your memory.

And you don't need a Marauder's Map to navigate the halls of Hogwarts Castle at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. If it's your first visit, hop in the Castle Tour Line, which also doubles as the Single Rider Line. The regular ride line often rushes guests through the castle rooms in order to get as many people on the attraction as possible, but the Castle Tour Line gives Muggle visitors a little more time to pore over every nook, cranny, moving portrait, and enchanted object in Hogwarts. At the end of the tour, simply go back to the entrance, put your belongings in a locker, and head back in line to hop on the ride. Castle tour AND a chance to accompany Harry, Ron, and Hermione on an adventure? Now that's a spellbinding offer!

Name your own velociraptor at Jurassic Park

While a lot of the attractions at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are geared toward older "kids," AKA adults, one area is surprisingly kid-friendly: Jurassic Park. True, your precocious little ones could find themselves fending off a T-rex like Lex and Tim, especially if they ride the Jurassic Park River Adventure, but there are tons of activities and attractions made just for younger dino-obsessed guests, like a play area and the Pteranodon Flyers.

But you can also see life, uh, find a way at the Jurassic Park Discovery Center. Designed to look just like John Hammond's iconic visitor center from the 1993 film, the Discovery Center houses a quick-service restaurant, but also a series of educational prehistoric exhibits on the bottom floor, which fuse fictional Jurassic Park science with real-life knowledge. And every 30 minutes, you can watch a baby velociraptor hatch from an egg with the assistance of a Jurassic Park scientist, who is not, unfortunately, B.D. Wong. One lucky young paleontologist is chosen at random to name the new "clever girl," and even receives a birth certificate with its birthdate.

Plus, if you're spending more than one day in the park, feel free to check in on your baby raptor's progress — a scientist will give you a handwritten report and everything. Sounds like they spared no expense.

Do real magic in Diagon Alley & Hogsmeade

"Yer a wizard, Harry!" Hagrid famously exclaimed in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Well, now you can be one too, thanks to some pretty high-tech Muggle engineering throughout Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, at the Universal Orlando parks. Just walking around the two park sections can make even the most casual Potter fan squeal like a potted mandrake, but park engineers wanted to give guests an even more immersive experience. Accio interactive wands!

When Diagon Alley opened in 2014, Universal installed motion sensors around the two Potter parks that produce "magic" effects when guests stand in certain spots and perform the accompanying spells with a specially-designed interactive wand. These interactive wands are slightly thicker than the original wands sold in Hogsmeade before the Diagon Alley expansion opened, and have a translucent tip that helps send and receive commands from the sensors around the parks. Spell locations are marked by brass engravings in the pavement, which tell witches and wizards which direction to face, the spell command, and its wand movement. Some spells are more difficult than others, so just remember that, as Hermione would tell you, practice makes perfect. If you don't get it to work right away, just keep trying.

Interactive wands can obviously be purchased at Ollivander's in both parks (and at the Hollywood location) and also Wands by Gregorovitch in Diagon Alley. The wand chooses the wizard, so make sure you've got the right one, and you'll be conjuring up fun in no time.

Unlock hidden tracks on the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

We all want to party like rock stars, and you can do just that on the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios Orlando. Opened in 2009, the steel roller coaster reaches speeds of 65 mph (making it one of the fastest rides in Orlando), features the first non-inverted loop, and plays music for the duration of the ride through special speakers in each ride console.

While Disney's Hollywood Studios features a similar musical coaster experience on its Rock 'n' Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith, the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit actually allows riders to choose their own soundtrack from an official menu of 30 songs, rather than forcing themselves to enjoy random, pre-selected tunes. But just like Starbucks, the ride also has its own secret menu to choose from, if you know how to unlock it. To access an additional 60+ hidden tracks when you board the ride, simply hold down the Rip Ride Rockit logo on the selection screen for five seconds. This will give you a keypad to enter a three-digit song code to select one of the "unofficial" tracks for your wild ride.

Get paid to watch TV

Though most people think of Universal as just a film studio, they also produce television shows. Universal Television, which merged with NBC Studios, produces such hit shows as Saturday Night Live, The Mindy Project, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Chicago Fire, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night With Seth Meyers, and Law & Order: SVU.

But like any studio, Universal is always looking for the next hit, and that's where you come in. On occasion, Universal Studios team members will invite park guests to participate in screenings of new pilots and provide valuable feedback. Interested guests will be escorted to a room with computers and headphones, to watch a few pilot episodes of new shows and fill out questionnaires. If you're looking to get off your feet and away from rowdy teenagers for half an hour, and want the inside scoop on shows everyone will be binge-watching months later, this is the perfect opportunity.

Plus, you get paid — Universal offers participants anywhere from $15-40 for their time and feedback. In fact, to entice guests even more, Universal unveiled its new NBC Media Center in 2015 in the old Garden of Allah area, which replaces the old preview center that was housed in the New York section of the park.

Catch Doc Brown and King Kong in unlikely places

By all accounts, the 1990 Universal Studios Orlando opening was an unmitigated disaster. Technical problems plagued its three big rides: Jaws, Kongfrontation, and Earthquake: the Big One. Guests demanded refunds. It wasn't until the park opened its new motion-simulator attraction, Back to the Future: the Ride, during summer 1991, that the park finally began to flourish. Meant to be Universal's answer to Disney's Star Tours, the ride featured Doc Brown chasing baddie Biff Tannen through time in the infamous DeLorean — it remained a popular park favorite until it closed in 2007 due to dwindling ridership and Universal's plans to revamp its image.

Rather than build a completely new ride, however, Universal converted the attraction into The Simpsons Ride in just a year's time. Though Back to the Future went the way of the past, Doc Brown does make a cartoon cameo in one of the pre-show videos for The Simpsons Ride, soliciting donations for his Institute of Future Technology. Great Scott!

Similarly, Kongfrontation closed down in 2002, paving the way for Universal to build Revenge of the Mummy, a dark ride based on the popular Brendan Fraser film franchise of the late '90s/early '00s. But much like Universal did with Jaws, nods to the old King Kong attraction are scattered throughout the line for Revenge of the Mummy, like bananas, ape hieroglyphs, and even a skeleton wearing a "Kong Rules" hat. That said, guests are once again going ape over Kong at Islands of Adventure's newest, terrifying attraction: Skull Island: Reign of Kong.