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Hard Rock Orlando

   
The upper level of the original Hard Rock Orlando
   
   
   
Hard Rock Cafe Orlando — MOVED
Established: 6/7/1990 — Disestablished: 12/11/1998
Former Address: Universal Studios, 6050 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32819
My first visit visit: September 4th, 1997
   

Notes...

   

This property has moved to Hard Rock Cafe Orlando 2.

Hard Rocks have long been tied to the Universal Studios resorts, and it all began here. This was a massive property with multiple areas to handle everything from large parties to live music, and it’s hard to believe that it was closed to make way for an even bigger property at the Universal Citywalk. Though the “official” explanation as to why it was torn down was that the building was falling apart, I’m pretty sure that the real reason was the opening of the huge “Planet Hollywood Sphere” at Downtown Disney that got the wrecking ball moving. After that, the Hard Rock wasn’t nearly as impressive as it used to be, and so they decided to start over.
I remember very little about the cafe, except that it was big and had some nice stained glass windows. I remember that it was also shaped like a giant guitar, and the “neck” stretched across an access road into a nearby parking lot for easy access. I’m sure I took a lot of photos of the property, but don’t know where most of them are at. What few I found are fairly unimpressive, which is a shame because the cafe itself was actually anything but.
The original building is still standing across from the Hard Rock Hotel (albeit hidden) and, as I understand it, is still used for storage. It would be really interesting to take a look at it one more time, as I am sure it will be torn down one of these days.
   

Photos…

   
Hard Rock Cafe Orlando Entrance
Entrance plaza from the Universal Studios Orlando side of the building.
Gold letters on the Hard Rock proclaiming KINGDOM OF ROCK!
Probably a nod to Disney’s “Magic Kingdom” down the road.
Google Maps aerial view looking down on the old cafe building
A current Google Maps shot of the abandoned cafe with the missing guitar neck sketched in.
Far shot showing the guitar neck entrance from the parking lot.
You can see the guitar’s “neck” leading from the parking lot to the cafe.
Walking down the guitar neck entrance from the parking lot.
Walking down the “neck” of the guitar towards the lot entrance.

Location Map...

Former Address: Universal Studios, 6050 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32819
Former Coordinates: 28.47820723284957, -81.46560788154602
   
   
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