The Last 'Back to the Future' Ride to Close this May

The last remaining incarnation of 'Back to the Future - The Ride' is set to close May 31st at Universal Studios Japan. There is no word yet on what will replace the attraction. Universal closed the Universal Studios Florida version in March of 2007 and in September of 2007 closed the Universal Studios Hollywood version. Both of those attractions were ultimately replaced by The Simpsons Ride.

I don't recall riding Back to the Future - The Ride when I was younger, and despite my fondness for the Back to the Future series, I can't say I'll miss this attraction. The story of this ride just does not feel like the rest of the franchise and is purely going for spectacle. Which is fine for a theme park ride but as a fan of the trilogy I want something with a little more thought.

via: Theme Park Insider

Theme Park Etiquette 101

Theme Park Etiquette 101

Theme parks are busier than ever these days. That means a large amount of first timers who are taking their introductory trips to some of the most popular vacation destinations on earth. Whether you you are newbie or a veteran, the fact of the matter is, some people just don't know how to act. Here are some essential rules of etiquette that everyone should follow when visiting their theme park of choice.

Hygiene
The more densely packed these theme parks get the more you'll be getting cozy some of your fellow guests. I get it, Florida and southern California are hot places. You should know by now how smelly you can get in the heat, so be kind to your neighbor. No one wants to smell your Turkey Leg infused sweat mixed with Splash Mountain water.

Bad Language
I'm no stranger to throwing a bad word around or two, but there is a time and place for everything. Cursing and talking about off color topics does not have a place in the theme parks. 

Read More

Skull Island: Reign Of Kong's Story Revealed

Skull Island: Reign Of Kong's Story Revealed

Universal revealed the official story for their 2016 attraction, Skull Island: Reign Of Kong. The tale revolves around the 8th Wonder Expedition Company. A research effort to uncover the island's gigantic secrets. 

You'll begin by attempting to make your way to the ruins, then to the 8th Wonder basecamp, being lead by the radio transmissions of the explorers ahead of you. You'll hear the first signs of life as native drums begin to get louder as you make your way toward the heart of the island. Your group will then be met by the massive temple that dominates the land. Inside are a labyrinth of caves. Once you escape you'll be right in the middle of a T-rex fight, and that's were Kong comes in.

The ride sounds about what we expected. Universal released a new video with a few new pieces of concept art and another look at the T-rex that will be in the screen portion of the ride. It still looks identical to 2005's Peter Jackson King Kong film, bright and saturated. As much as I liked Jackson's Kong film, I don't think that aesthetic fits with everything else we've seen thus far.

I also don't know how they are going to trick guests into thinking the large temple that dominates the land's skyline is deep in the heart of the island when you can clearly see it from well outside the land. I am loving the red glowing lights that will illuminate the temple at night.

The first episode of Myth Explorer (the viral marketing videos for the ride) is out now. Some great production value went into this campaign. I find it a little too meta that this fictional show know and talks about Universal's Skull Island attraction. What do you think of the new Reign of Kong news?

Read More

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon Coming to Universal Orlando in 2017

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon Coming to Universal Orlando in 2017

Universal Orlando has announced yet another new attraction for 2017. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon will feature the Tonight Show host on an adventure through New York City. The new attraction will replace Twister... Ride it Out, which will close November 2nd. 

Not many details were given on how the ride will be presented. Considering Jimmy Fallon will be hosting the attraction we can assume lots of screens will come into play, in classic Universal fashion. The show building for Twister is just slightly smaller than Transformers'. Will it be a ride that advanced? Probably not. I'm betting on a large theater experience like Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. 

Read More

Universal Announces 'Volcano Bay' Water Park

Today Universal has announced their first original water park, Volcano Bay. The tropical island themed park will have a massive volcano at its center with something in the park for every member of the family.

Volcano Bay will include water park mainstays, such as a wave pool, lazy river and of course water slides. But Universal also promises an experience to "completely redefine the water park experience for our guests." Those are some pretty lofty claims but something Universal has a recent track record of making possible.

What would such an experience be?  My guess is a dark ride inside of the central volcano. You can see in the concept art (above) there is an observation deck near the very top of the volcano and an elevated walkway winding through the base of the structure. So it appears the creative team will be making a lot of practical use from the volcano as well it being the park's center piece.

Click for Larger

I could imagine a tube ride winding its way in and out of the volcano with some show scenes and possibly some effects like fire, smoke and water being sprayed at riders. This would be a great opportunity for Universal Creative to show off their ability to create original stories.

Volcano Bay will be located directly south of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, the newest resort on property. The plot of land is relatively small but I'm sure there will be plenty of creative uses for the space. Construction is already underway and Volcano Bay is scheduled to open in 2017.