Thursday, October 21, 2010

Orlando - Universal Studios Florida


A good portion of the ideas for this re-assembly & expansion of USF came from IdealBuildout reader MagicLamp. 

As with my idealized MGM, this park is still a working film & television studio - with production taking place daily.

In Production Central, I've brought back some of the old exhibits, like the legendary star/filmmaker tribute and Stage 54 preview center.  There is no HRRR coaster, but I did replace the Bone Yard with the Amphitheater.  Shrek moves to old Xena theater and a dark ride version of Hanna-Barbera sits across from animated simulator Jimmy Neutron:

In New York, the iconic Kongfrontation still stands and Ghostbusters, one of my favorite movies, gets an updated treatment:


Since Beetlejuice has moved (more on that later), its theater is now used for some other live show.

In Expo Center we begin to see some major re-arranging.  Hidden by trees from Amity village, the HQ of Cyberdyne Systems is a bland, ordinary office park building (like in the film) - harboring an apocalyptic secret:


E.T. Adventure is transplanted to a more appropriate location between Men in Black and Back to the Future (still there).  Next to E.T. is another Spielberg sci-fi monument: a restaurant in the form of the mothership from Close Encounters of the Third Kind:

Next is Horrowood - an area for monsters, ghosts, etc.   It hosts a transplanted Beetlejuice show and a restaurant modeled on the old Bates Motel:


There is a dark ride based on The Simpsons Halloween specials, Treehouse of Horror (another idea of MagicLamp's).

 Before Potter, Universal was going to build a kuka ride based on the Van Helsing franchise.  Despite the film tanking, the concept (of a vampire slayer fighting all the classic Universal monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, etc.) is great for a Universal park.  The exterior queue is a Transylvanian village and the show building is Dracula's castle:

Revenge of the Mummy is themed to a 1930s dig (not a film set) and dressed as it is in Singapore:

The final land, Hollywood, sees a relocated SFX show featuring Twister... Ride it Out (or possibly Backdraft).  I've also place now extinct Alfred Hitchcock show here - a master deserves representation.  As I'm writing this I realize I forgot to relocate the Horror Make-Up Show to the Horror area... and there isn't room for it at the moment.  I will try to get to amending the site plan in the future.

***

So there it is.  I understand that rides like Back to the Future, Kongfrontation, etc. were showing their age.  Still, I believe some rides achieve classic status and ought to be tenured - having their technology regularly updated while keeping the essence of the ride intact - particularly when (i) the successor is inferior or (ii) there is room for expansion without removing a favorite.  After all, part of the fun of theme parks is nostalgia.

9 comments:

megatron_85 said...

i love it

stitch101 said...

Great job! I love all that you did here. One critique, though. Since you eliminated Wood Woodpecker, Barney, Fievel, and Curious George, that leaves too little for small children to do in the park. In your Ideal IOA, you have Cat in the Hat, One Fish, Caro-Suess-El, Unusual Driving Machines, Quest for Camelot, Flying Unicorn, Camp Jurassic, Pterandon Flyers, Discovery Center, Me Ship The Olive, Super Hero Squad, and Storm Force Accelatron for small children to do. But here, the only rides that small children could experience are Hanna Barbera and Animal Actors (I believe children usually find Neutron, Shrek, and E.T. to be too intense for them)

But still, I really enjoy everything else. Also, what would the Production Tour you proposed be like? Just curious to know.

'RandySavage' said...

Hey. thanks for taking a moment to leave a comment.

Stitch, your critique is warranted. My idealized USF is not well-suited to families with very young kids. I thought the same thing as I removed Woody Woodpecker's kidzone. Although E.T.'s height requirement (34 inches) is pretty low (=/< Flying Unicorn family coaster). I think small kids could also experience The Treehouse of Terror and Beetlejuice Revue as these are more humorous than scary.

Another imperfection is the dead-end of Horrorwood with three E-tickets in fairly close proximity, but, hey, my dream parks typically suffer from an embarrassment of riches.

megatron_85 said...

can you post paris disneysea?

Anonymous said...

Your interpretation is interesting; really, all of them are. But the problems with USF run much deeper than dead-ends and empty buildings. Part of that problem is the park should be building more themed environments, ala IOA, but outside Production Central. New York, Hollywood, and SanFranAmity is fine, but the rest of the park is dull and uninspired.

I take issue with Horrorwood, which is a great concept, but is the basis for Horror Nights, which is a huge draw for the park. Plus, the attractions are scattershot: Alfred Hitchcock isn't included (Bates Motel should sit next to Hitchcock, not around the corner). The Simpsons ride sounds like something that could spice-up IOA's Toon Lagoon (also giving them a dry ride).

I would rather see that area with ET, Kidzone, and Woody, and add a playground similar to Camp Jurassic, a wave swinger, a new character dining location, and an extension into where you have ET currently on your map. This would alleviate the dead end, and make it a nice little loop that would give you space for Mummy, Van Helsing, Hitchcock, and Beetlejuice (think of the current layout of Harry Potter/Lost Continent: Van Helsing and Beetlejuice could have a European street like was planned for the park in the 90's with a castle facade, while Hitchcock has his own area, and Mummy has what you've described).

I like the Close Encounters idea, but that could be worked into the space opposite the path between Terminator and Men in Black, or overtaking the space next to BTTF. The whole area would take over the World's Fair theme, including fake company sponsorships.

Finally, you need another coaster. Not sure where, but I'm thinking something like Rockit but with a launch.

RandySavage said...

^ Appreciate the detailed comments.

Creating a loop in the southeast corner was an initial consideration and would make a lot of sense for crowd movement. May try to apply some of your suggestions if/when I get around to refining this USF drawing.

stitch101 said...

Some suggestions I have to solve the lack of attractions for younger children would be to place Barney where the San Francisco theater is. (It's actually a well-made show and has a entertaining post show area). Another suggestion would be to place a combination of the Fievel and Curious George playgrounds between Neutron and Nickelodeon Studios and theme it around Nick Jr. (I figured it would work if they were able to place the Rockit station in that spot, then again I could be wrong). This way, all three major parts of Nickelodeon would be represented by attractions;
Nicktoons, Nick Jr., and live action Nickelodeon shows. One more suggestion would be to squeeze in a junior rollercoaster (same track as Woody Woodpecker) in a small bit of the grass plot behind the Universal Studios Store, but in front of the area where I proposed the Nick Jr. playground for. I realized recently that the grass plot was important for the Nickelodeon Studios, but basically what I am saying is that this coaster would only take up a very tiny bit of that grass area, still leaving more then enough space for the rest of the grass plot to be used. I imagine that this coaster would be themed around Slime, Gak, or any other kind of messy thing, and I guess precautions would have to be taken to avoid having the sound of the coaster intrude on filming. But again, I'm not sure my ideas would really work. Just something I was throwing out there.

Armchair Ashley said...

@stitch101 In my idealized version of USF (called Universal Studios Orlando in my version), I replaced the Barney show with one revolving around the Sesame Street characters since the is a 4D Sesame Street show in Universal Studios Japan.

Anonymous said...

Can you get the maps to work again? Thanks