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Behind the scenes of Universal Orlando

May 23, 2013 at 3:40 PM ET

Video: On any given day, tens of thousands of people will visit Universal Orlando’s two theme parks, but few get to see the magic and mystery that make them come to life every day. The TODAY anchors get a unique look behind the scenes of the parks.

Did you know someone has to “wake up” a roller coaster for the day? Or make 2,000 Jell-O cups for a hungry public?

They’re just some of the fascinating behind-the-scenes jobs at Universal Orlando, where hundreds of employees work around the clock to make sure everything at the company’s two theme parks runs smoothly for visitors.

The TODAY anchors got a unique look inside the operation, including Universal’s test kitchen, a 20-hour a day operation that services 76 restaurants. Here, chefs whip up 1,000 cakes and pastries, and shape 500 pounds of chocolate chip dough into 15,000 cookies that will be distributed around the park. Those shepherd’s pies served at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are made here, too.

So how does a mechanic “wake up” a roller coaster for the day? He takes three consecutive test runs on the ride each morning to make sure it’s safe and online.

“A great day at the office,” he told TODAY. “No lines for me.”

Concepts for the attractions begin at Universal Creative headquarters, where writers, filmmakers, and engineers transform models into 3-D worlds that dazzle the public.

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