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Universal Orlando Resort (USF, IOA, Epic) Discussion Thread

P. 625: Dark Universe revealed!

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Anything that is fantasy involving kid protagonists is a "kids" movie. Just because the actors are now older doesn't mean kids don't still relate. I agree that the newer films are reaching a broader audience, but I enjoy Spongebob Squarepants shows from time to time. It doesn't mean that Spongebob isn't geared towards kids, it just means that when done right you can reach a wider audience, like Shrek... Personally, I never got into the Harry Potter thing, but this new area looks pretty unique to any other theme park area, which I'm excited about.

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Harry Potter is a tween phenom. Like it or not, you have to accept the audience. It's like saying Twilight is an intellectual art film. It just isn't. From a marketing site I also frequent:

 

"The core demographic of Harry Potter are kids between 7-16."

 

This is their bread and butter. That's where the money is, and the biggest reason Daniel Radcliffe is the richest kid in Britain. I'm not bashing anyone who likes Harry Potter who is older than it's target market, but you have to realize where the true popularity lies. Every halloween I see a bunch of kids dressed as Harry Potter characters. The market is still strong, and that's why this was such a good move for Universal. Even though the popularity of the movies are waning, the books are still a great way for parents to get their kids to read when they otherwise would only watch television and play video games.

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Anything that is fantasy involving kid protagonists is a "kids" movie. Just because the actors are now older doesn't mean kids don't still relate. I agree that the newer films are reaching a broader audience, but I enjoy Spongebob Squarepants shows from time to time. It doesn't mean that Spongebob isn't geared towards kids, it just means that when done right you can reach a wider audience, like Shrek... Personally, I never got into the Harry Potter thing, but this new area looks pretty unique to any other theme park area, which I'm excited about.

 

There's a difference between Spongebob and Harry Potter. A big difference. And Shrek is not a "kids" movie. It's an animated movie. Why do people insist on labeling these movies like this? Calling it a "kids movie" makes it seem harmless and inconsequential. "It could be a normal movie that's worth my time...oh... except it's a kid's movie. Oh well."

 

Saying that it's for kids takes away the power that it can have.

 

EDIT: Think of Disneyland.

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Anything that is fantasy involving kid protagonists is a "kids" movie. Just because the actors are now older doesn't mean kids don't still relate. I agree that the newer films are reaching a broader audience, but I enjoy Spongebob Squarepants shows from time to time. It doesn't mean that Spongebob isn't geared towards kids, it just means that when done right you can reach a wider audience, like Shrek... Personally, I never got into the Harry Potter thing, but this new area looks pretty unique to any other theme park area, which I'm excited about.

 

There's a difference between Spongebob and Harry Potter. A big difference. And Shrek is not a "kids" movie. It's an animated movie. Why do people insist on labeling these movies like this? Calling it a "kids movie" makes it seem harmless and inconsequential. "It could be a normal movie that's worth my time...oh... except it's a kid's movie. Oh well."

 

Saying that it's for kids takes away the power that it can have.

 

EDIT: Think of Disneyland.

 

I'd go farther and say that no entertainment is created in a vacuum. Everything has an adult leaning bit of humor, intellect, story telling, or whatever. You mention Spongebob, I know adults who love Spongebob, including myself. I have personally gotten more out of some of that humor than some of the "adult" humor TV shows or movies.

 

I DO agree that calling something a kids movie is trying to dismiss it totally without discussion. It's like calling someone a fanboi, it's a dismissive argument that doesn't add anything to the conversation and tries to take away all power from the opposite party. I give "kids movies" more respect and props than something like Transformers because it has more work to do to keep EVERYONE entertained and speak on multiple levels.

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Universal Orlando has sent us a photo of Mariah Carey in front of Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit during her recent visit.

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Mariah Carey, biggest-selling female recording artist and actress, who most recently co-starred in the Oscar-nominated film, “Precious,” looked calm and confident in front of the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster at Universal Studios Florida on April 8. Carey spent vacation time at both of Universal Orlando Resort’s theme parks while her husband, actor and comedian Nick Cannon, filmed auditions for season five of the NBC reality television show, “America’s Got Talent.”

 

© 2010 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

 

Photo Credit: Kevin Kolczynski, Universal Orlando Resort

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I did get back to Islands of Adventure Wednesday evening to see the newly re-opened section of the old Dueling Dragons queue. The caves, formerly filled with tons of skulls and candles have been entirely stripped of their old bones, but still clearly resemble the old formations. While some sections where bone structures used to be visible have been resurfaced, others remain visibly empty (or have yet to be retouched). The giant doors inside of the cave where a dragon could be heard resting have also been replaced with new Potter-esque doors that are merely closed without a crack to even look through. At least based on what could be seen so far, little significant retheming has been done to this section of the queue. The station building itself has basically been left untouched as well, save for the addition of some newer signs similar to those listing the Ministry rules found throughout the construction areas earlier on. The biggest progress can be seen in the outside of the queue building where the entrance has been converted completely to look like that of the conceptualized Dragon Challenge. The flag structure is now assembled with all flags in place, albeit tied up so as to prevent guests from having their attention drawn off of the main path.

 

As for the rest of the Wizarding World, lights are on throughout Hogsmeade, especially inside of the Hogs Head. The large tree near Flight of the Hippogriff had some odd flashing lights testing in its branches throughout the night that I had not seen before. Over by the Lost Continent entrance of the land, the Hogwarts Express is also blowing off steam every few minutes.

 

From the looks of things, the Wizarding World will be hosting guests comfortably in the near future.

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The old "Choose thy Fate" sign is gone and has been replaced with two banners, although the dragon's actual names have been covered up with temporary signs in order to keep the Dueling Dragons theme alive until its final conversion into the Dragon Challenge.

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Not much different over here.

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A new sign has been added to the current entrance (and the eventual exit) of the ride.

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The new flag structure is now complete.

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As is the drawbridge entrance.

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"Through the trees!"

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I'm trying to stay out of this thread, honestly I am.

 

I'm pretty sure though that this post ^^ is the thing that has made me most sad of the whole Potter thing.

Edited by SharkTums
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Dueling Dragons is one of my favorite roller coasters and I can honestly say I remember nothing of the queue except for some caves so to me it changing will be practically unnoticable. I do love themeing and think it is important for many things, but I really don't think roller coasters need a bunch of themeing.

 

Still super excited for this!

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Dueling Dragons is one of my favorite roller coasters and I can honestly say I remember nothing of the queue except for some caves so to me it changing will be practically unnoticable. I do love themeing and think it is important for many things, but I really don't think roller coasters need a bunch of themeing.

 

Still super excited for this!

Well, it was a lot more than "just some caves." I'm assuming you probably didn't see most of the actual theming because many times, especially when the park is not busy, they walk people through the shorter version of it or you go through it all very quickly and all you see is the cave area at the very end right before you get to the "Choose Thy Fate" section of the queue.

 

It was, arguably the most themed queue for any ride ever created. The only other queue's I can think of that were even this detailed was Indiana Jones at Tokyo DisneySea or Pharoah's Fury at Lotte World....

 

This is what the queue USED to look like... (Note that all these photos look like they were taken with a flash so all the amazing lighting in these rooms is not showing.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the only one I could find with the actual lighting to so can see the difference:

 

If someone has good photos of the old queue I would actually suggest giving them to Larry so he could add it to the park index.

 

--Robb

Edited by robbalvey
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That does look pretty cool but I still can't remember it! You are probably right Robb, I always stay on property there so have not really waited in many lines. My favorite part that I am thinking may be gone was when they would yell, "Fire Dragon, Ready?" and everyone would cheer and then they would do the same for Ice Dragon and then we would take off. It was cheesy but it always made me get more excited! If that is gone I will join in some sadness.

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If someone has good photos of the old Dueling Dragons queue I would actually suggest giving them to Larry so he could add it to the park index.

 

--Robb

 

Just post them in the Ever Evolving Park Index thread and I'll find them.

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Are they not going to get a new paint job for Potter,I mean if you're going to change an already cool coaster with a great theme you should go out and really change it up,paint one green and one purple if you have to.The way I look at it if you're going to change the theme do it and don't leave us a coaster that still kind of looks like Dueling Dragons,but not really.

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Sorry if this has been discussed but I haven't really been following this topic all that much lately. Does anyone know for sure the extent of the retheming of Dueling Dragons' queue? Is it mostly speculation that this will be happening or is there evidence I'm missing that supports some major changes? Thanks in advance to anyone that is able to answer this question.

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