Whenever you are watching a movie and you see a familiar place that you’ve been to, it’s a cool feeling. Sometimes it can bring back a happy memory of when you had the pleasure to visit that place yourself. Many people assume that most famous movies are filmed in New York or Los Angeles. However, this is not entirely true! Did you know that some of your favorite movies were filmed in Orlando? Even if you’re not a movie star, you may feel like one when visiting these spots where the stars once stood! Here’s a look at some famous movies filmed in “The City Beautiful”.
1. My Girl (1991)
My Girl is a sweet, coming of age drama starring Macaulay Culkin and Anna Chlumsky. The film takes place in Madison, Pennsylvania. However, it was shot about 20 miles north of Orlando in Sanford, Florida. Not only this, some other locations in the film were relatively close as well!
Images: My Girl – the Sultenfuss house by Wikipedia (left) and Columbia Pictures (right)
The Sultenfuss House/funeral parlor was filmed at 555 East Stanford Street in Bartow, Florida. The writing class which Vada, the main character, participates in is in Plant City, Florida. At 605 Magnolia Avenue in Sanford, Florida was the home of Mr Bixler. Following this, the bingo scene from the movie was filmed in Ocoee. The outside of Dr. Welty’s Surgery building, as well as the café where Harry and Vada see Mrs. Sennett, and Thomas J’s house was filmed in Sanford. Mirror Lake was a popular filming spot for this movie as well. This is where the iconic Willow Tree stands, where Thomas J and Vada spent a lot of time.
In addition to all of these, many of the Main Street scenes were filmed at East 1st Street in Sanford. To film and house interior sets, a warehouse on Sand Lake Road was used as well. This classic movie contains so much of Orlando’s beautiful landscapes and history, as well as the cities that surround it.
2. Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
Lethal Weapon 3 is an action/comedy film that stars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Orlando has a small, yet explosive role in this movie!
Images by Warner Bros. – Lethal Weapon 3
In 1991, Warner Brothers paid the city of Orlando $500,000 to demolish the former city hall building for the film. The ICSI Building in Orlando was actually the former City Hall building. In the explosion, you can even see the ICSI sign! This building was located at the intersection of Orange Avenue and South Street in Downtown Orlando. In the wide shot, you can actually see the newly opened Orlando City Hall right behind the former one, just a few feet away!
*Fun Fact – The tables at the White Wolf Café in Ivanhoe Village in Orlando are granite slabs from the explosion.
3. The Waterboy (1998)
The Waterboy is an American sports comedy starring Adam Sandler. Many of the scenes from the movie were filmed in Orlando. They filmed at Stetson University, located in DeLand, Florida, with other scenes filmed in Lakeland, and St. Cloud. In addition to this, many of the film’s waterfront scenes were filmed in Clermont.
Image by Touchstone Pictures – The Waterboy
One of the most famous scenes of the movie, the Bourbon Bowl scenes, takes place at Camping World Stadium right in Orlando! There were some scenes filmed in other Florida locations as well. These include those outside of Orlando in Jacksonville, Lakeland, and more.
Image by Touchstone Pictures – The Waterboy
The Medulla oblongata scene filmed at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, pictured above.
4. Monster (2003)
Monster is a true story based upon the life of a serial killer, starring Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci. Some of the most notable locations from the movie include Orlando, Kissimmee, Sanford, and the Daytona International Speedway. More specifically, some locations include Neptune Road, a Kissimmee hotel, Semoran Skateway in Casselberry, and Fun World in Orlando on International Drive.
Image by Newmarket Films
5. Tomorrowland (2015)
Tomorrowland is a popular science fiction Disney film starring George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, and many more talented actors. Part of the movie takes place at the 1964-65 World’s Fair, so there are some shots of the Carousel of Progress at Walt Disney World. Filmed close by in New Smyrna Beach was where they filmed the Newton’s hometown. Other scenes filmed in Altamonte Springs and the Kennedy Space Center! Tomorrowland had an overall $7 million economic impact on Orlando.
Images by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
6. Paper Towns (2015)
Paper Towns is a movie based upon a popular novel by John Greene, starring Cara Delevingne and Natt Wolff. The entirety of this movie is set in Orlando. However, only a few scenes actually filmed here. This was mostly due to budgetary reasons at the time of filming unfortunately. Instead, they filmed the majority in and around Charlotte, North Carolina at the end of 2014. The cast and crew of Paper Towns filmed in Orlando for three days to establish shots of the downtown skyline and Baldwin Park.
Images by 20th Century Studios
7. Sisters (2015)
Sisters is a comedy starring comedic duo Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. This movie was also set in Orlando, however only a few scenes were actually shot here. International Drive was one spot where filming took place. This is the scene where Tina and Amy are driving and singing along to the car radio. Amy picks up Tina at the airport in another scene, which was filmed at the Orlando International Airport. The movie also includes the sisters returning to Orlando after their parents announce they are selling their childhood home.
Image by Universal Pictures
8. Sharknado 3 (2015)
Sharknado 3 is a comedy/horror film starring Ian Ziering of Beverly Hills 90210, and Tara Reid of American Pie. Universal Orlando was a major plot point and filming set for this movie! The team and cast filmed for a total of nine days just at this location. The opening scenes were all filmed on the New York streets of Universal Studios!
Images by The Asylum and Syfy Films
When the characters are on their way to Orlando, they fly a jet right over the Daytona International Speedway during the Daytona 500. Then, when the sharknado starts to approach Universal, it hits Cabana Bay Beach Resort first. A shark then lands on one of the pool slides and falls. More areas in the film include Cabana Bay, Hollywood Rip Ride Rock It, Twister… Ride it Out, and Disaster. The popular photo spot that features Bruce the shark from Jaws also makes a cameo in the film. There’s more than just the scenes in the park, with some parts filmed on the coast at the Kennedy Space Center.
The next time you are watching any of these famous movies, be on the lookout for some of the popular spots that were filmed right here in Orlando! If you are traveling in Orlando, or if you call it home, you can still visit many of these famous spots. If you’re anything like me, I had no idea about so many of these!
Which of these famous movies is your favorite from this list? Did you recognize the filming locations?
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