One thing Florida is known for is theme parks. Many rides and attractions are based upon beloved films that the public loves, especially those found at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. What many people don’t know is that many films have actually been made in Florida too. Here are five of them and where in Florida you can visit the sites they were filmed in.
1. Blood Waters of Dr. Z
Also known as “Zaat,” this 1971 monster movie featuring a mad former Nazi scientist who transforms into a large fish creature in an attempt to take over the world has gained a cult following. It was filmed in several different locations throughout the Sunshine State including Jacksonville, Green Cover Springs, Marineland (where you can currently swim with dolphins), Switzerland, and Rainbow Springs. Its early release was fairly modest after being created by Don Barton, being shown mostly in Florida and other Southern states. However, the film gained a great following after it was featured in the popular television show “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”
One of Disney’s most beloved animated feature films, “Mulan” tells the epic saga of a young girl who impersonates a man in order to serve in the Chinese army so her aging father doesn’t have too. This film, both dramatic and comedic, was animated mainly in Disney’s animation studio located at the theme park Disney-MGM Studios (now known as Disney’s Hollywood Studios).
3. Lilo and Stitch
This 2002 animated film from Disney was also made primarily in Florida. This film tells the story of a socially awkward and mischievous space alien named Stitch (a.k.a. Experiment 626) who runs away to Hawaii, where he meets and develops a friendship with a lonely girl named Lilo. Later on there would be one more Disney animated film made in Florida called “Brother Bear,” but after that the Florida-based studio was closed down.
4. Second Coming
Directed by Florida-based filmmaker Jose Zambrano Cassella, this horror film tells the story of a sister who attempts to utilize her psychic abilities to find out how her twin died. It was filmed in several Florida sites, such as Blue Springs State Park and Oviedo’s Townhouse Restaurant (in its former location).
5. Sharknado 3
The third in this epic shark saga, much of the movie was filmed in (and takes place in) Florida. Much of the shark-based action took place in Universal Studios Orlando, showcasing real rides and attractions. The climax also took place at the Kennedy Space Center.