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

P. 625: Dark Universe revealed!

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I thought Twister was hot garbage and anything in its place is an improvement, especially if I can sit down and play Bubble Witch or make pithy comments about fellow guests on Twitter instead of standing in a hot queue while waiting for a dumb attraction I will only go on when there are lines everywhere else.

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As much as I remember loving Twister,and some what missing it because Im into natural disasters, I do remember it not being as good as I remembered. The first time I went on it when I was 9. The second time I just turned 25. At 9 I thought it was the sh*t! Also I was up in the front. The second time though it didnt seem as cool and I was in the back row. Im guessing its because it was amazing as a child but not so much as an adult but in all honesty it seemed they got rid of features. I dont know...it might of just been that i grew up. As a child I remember seeing things get torn apart,things burst into flames,semi truck going though the "air" and the wind being so strong I could barely breath! As an adult I just remember signs tipping over,some sparks,a small fire,only a light breeze, no buildings coming apart and no "debris" There was the cow but suddenly it seemed so fake compare to when i was a kid. Im just guessing its the whole old "things look so much coolier when you are little then when you get older" thing. Oh and not to mention it had gross sour vinegary sweaty "dirty moldy bath towel" type smell to it.... you know how sometimes dirty wet things get that nasty smell after drying for some reason

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The concept of the "open" queue is pretty neat. Wonder if it's something we'll see more of at Universal (I could imagine in the Nintendo Land section open rooms where you can play Nintendo related games and such while you're waiting to ride) or if it's something that will be more or less one and done with this attraction simply because it works (really) well with the story/theme they are going for. As for the ride vehicle, it sounds quite similar to Questor/Corkscrew Hill/Europe in the Air (which could basically be described as "open air Star Tours" as you described).

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Is this yet another video-based attraction at Universal? Too many of their attractions are glorified movies, instead of real experiences. At least Twister was a real experience.

 

Is another video-based attraction going to replace Disaster as well?

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This was under construction when I was last at USO in November, but I didn't really figure it was something I'd miss much. Based on the reviews, seems I'm right. But then again I doubt they intended it to be any kind of blockbuster eTicket. Seems like a decent attraction, especially if you are a fan of Fallon.

 

Speaking of that, it does seem a bit odd to leverage Fallon so heavily. I'm 34 so probably a little past his key demographic, but even going back to his SNL days I always just found him annoying (his constant breaking during skits was funny at first, then just ridiculous). Leveraging a brand like that so heavily, with a lot of in-jokes and references (like the Hashtag Panda) from the show, seem like it's going to really impact the re-ride ability and enjoyment of this for people who don't watch.

 

And to everyone saying "ugh another 3D media-based attraction at UO" I agree so, so much. Last time I was there, it was a marathon trip. Both parks in one day, so the similarities between all of their recent attractions REALLY becomes apparent. As much fun as they are by themselves, when placed all together you just get burned out IMO. Even Kong, which had some of the most impressive 3D I've seen, was still a let down. Esp after a queue and first part of the ride with some really cool theming and practical effects. To then just drive into a big screen tunnel....meh.

 

That being said, for the casual visitor, the burn out probably isn't near as bad, so probably doesn't impact them as much. Still I think UO could benefit from switching it up a bit and trying to blend practical with media rather than going all-in on the 3D screens.

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That being said, for the casual visitor, the burn out probably isn't near as bad, so probably doesn't impact them as much.

You'd be surprised. I've actually heard this more and more lately from the casual visitor. Especially when the screen based rides seem to be taking over. How many are there now?

 

1. Kong

2. Fallon

3. Gringotts

4. Forbidden Journey

5. Spider-Man

6. Transformers

7. Hogwart's Express

8. Despicable Me

9. Shrek

10. Simpsons

11. Terminator

12. Fast and the Furious (2018)

 

Did I miss any?

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That being said, for the casual visitor, the burn out probably isn't near as bad, so probably doesn't impact them as much.

You'd be surprised. I've actually heard this more and more lately from the casual visitor. Especially when the screen based rides seem to be taking over. How many are there now?

 

1. Kong

2. Fallon

3. Gringotts

4. Forbidden Journey

5. Spider-Man

6. Transformers

7. Hogwart's Express

8. Despicable Me

9. Shrek

10. Simpsons

11. Terminator

12. Fast and the Furious (2018)

 

Did I miss any?

I wouldn't consider Hogwarts Express to be a true screen-based ride as (a) it is a transport ride and (b) no 3D glasses required. It also seems like almost every Universal ride either requires 3D glasses and/or storing stuff in a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo.

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To me, there's a slight difference between 3D screen based attractions, and screen attractions that don't require 3D glasses. They just don't seem as intrusive, and often incorporate physical sets. So I personally put them in a different category, and am much more tolerant.

 

That said, that's still a pretty dang long list of 3D screen based attractions, even if one removes HE and FJ.

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Ugh. I didn't realize that Kong was also video-based.

 

Hogwarts Express is among the worst of the worst video rides IMO. A slow train ride with no real scenery. The slow train rides are some of my favorite rides. But where at Disney & Busch you get to ride a train around the park and see the scenery, this is completely like watching tv in a chair.

 

IMO Universal is probably the worst theme park value in the USA. They theming of Islands of Adventure is amazing. Not so much at the Studio park. But the pure number of video base rides, given that the prices are as high as Disney, makes it a horrible value. Top that with their Express Pass is an additional fee......

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I am pretty sure here is a complete list of all the rides that are not screen based. Which means in total both parks only contain 29 rides and more than a third are screen based.

 

1. Caro-Seuss-el

2. Doctor Doom Fearfall

3. Dragon Challenge

4. Ripsaw Falls

5. ET

6. Flight of the Hippogriff

7. Rockit

8. JP River Adventure

9. Twirl n Hurl

10. MIB

11. Red Fish Blue fish

12. Barges

13. Flyers

14. Mummy

15. Storm Force

16. Cat in the Hat

17. Seuss Trolley

18. Hulk

19. Woody Woodpecker Coaster

 

I just am not excited about Universal Orlando as I used to be. I really do like Harry Potter and I think everything Potter related has been good so far. But the building for Kong is better than the ride itself, I have been on it twice and that was enough unless the line is short. I did not enjoy Fast & Furious in Hollywood and I doubt it will suddenly become good in Orlando. I have not ridden Fallon yet, so I will not comment on the ride itself. But the "queueless" wait for Fallon sounds more like a forced 45-minute wait no matter how busy or slow the park is.

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I actually found the Hogwarts express to be quite clever in it's execution given the fact the train travels a route that would be nothing but ugly backstage views.

 

What's interesting about Fallon's popularity is that he actually leads in the ratings for the coveted 18-49 demographic, but that's only 1 million viewers...and he has lost the last 5 weeks of overall ratings to Colbert.

 

I personally wish they would have expanded upon the 30 rock concept and instead of a ride, made the attraction a show/museum about the history of NBC. Could cover a whole lot between just the tonight show and SNL.

 

There's clearly still a market for Universal Orlando, as year after year their attendance keeps going up...but that isn't an endorsement of screen based attractions.

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^Hogwarts Express is both a screen-based attraction and a transportation system--not to mention a way to ensure that Potter fans buy a two-park ticket.

As a Potter fan, I think HE is moderately fun (c-ticket level), but they could could have encased it in a tunnel with real props/scenery (incorporating some projection mapping or embedded media screens), left the windows open, kept the frosted door shadow effect (which I think is really cool), and it would have been a much better attraction (though I know it would have been significantly more expensive). I think you are just sitting too close to them for the faux-window effect to even remotely work (if you're sitting right by it not only can you easily see the edges of the screen but also the "screen door effect" created by the low pixel density of the video).

 

I like what Disney is seemingly starting to do with newer rides Shanghai Tron and POTC, and now (based on reports) the Navi River Adventure at Pandora, embedding/incorporating projection mapping/media screens into practical sets to enhance the immersiveness rather than have them act as the main focal point. Even Flight of Passage will have the Banshees that you're riding on rather than just plain benches/seats.

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I wouldn't consider Hogwarts Express to be a true screen-based ride

What are you talking about??? The ride is almost entirely based on the screen that you watch. Have you ridden it? They literally put you in a room to sit down and watch a TV screen and the ONLY THING to look at in the room is the TV screen! Considering that it's probably one of the most ridden, most popular, not to mention longest attractions in the park, I would absolutely consider it a "screen based attraction."

Edited by robbalvey
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I wouldn't consider Hogwarts Express to be a true screen-based ride

What are you talking about??? The ride is almost entirely based on the screen that you watch. Have you ridden it? They literally put you in a room to sit down and watch a TV screen and the ONLY THING to look at in the room is the TV screen! Considering that it's probably one of the most ridden, most popular, not to mention longest attractions in the park, I would absolutely consider it a "screen based attraction."

I have ridden it. Several times in fact! However, no 3D glasses necessary!

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All these 3D screen based attractions, I'm surprised Universal has yet to jump on the VR bandwagon.

 

I wouldn't consider Hogwarts Express to be a true screen-based ride

What are you talking about??? The ride is almost entirely based on the screen that you watch. They literally put you in a room to sit down and watch a TV screen and the ONLY THING to look at in the room is the TV screen! Considering that it's probably one of the most ridden, most popular, not to mention longest attractions in the park, I would absolutely consider it a "screen based attraction."

I have ridden it several times. However, no 3D glasses necessary!

 

So that makes it a 2D screen-based attraction.

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I wouldn't consider Hogwarts Express to be a true screen-based ride

What are you talking about??? The ride is almost entirely based on the screen that you watch. Have you ridden it? They literally put you in a room to sit down and watch a TV screen and the ONLY THING to look at in the room is the TV screen! Considering that it's probably one of the most ridden, most popular, not to mention longest attractions in the park, I would absolutely consider it a "screen based attraction."

I have ridden it. Several times in fact! However, no 3D glasses necessary!

You don't need 3D glasses on Simpsons or Forbidden Journey either so by your nonsensical logic do you not count those as screen based rides either???

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