A Love Affair With Screens: The Universal Story

When was the last time you went to Universal Orlando Resort? Whenever it was did you have the thought of “wow they sure do have a lot of attractions with screens and videos”? Because I seem to have that same feeling every time I go. These 4-D experiences are all over the Universal Theme Parks. Some are stand alone movies, others put you in theaters that move while you watch a 3-D film and some put you on an actual moving vehicle where a screen surrounds you. With it’s latest opening of Fast & Furious – Supercharged it’s safe to say that Universal’s love affair with screens has gotten out of hand.

Let me just say that many times these attractions come out great. I think Escape from Gringotts is a top five attraction in Orlando. It seamlessly incorporates 3-D films with a moving ride vehicle and other live elements. Others like The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man were revolutionary when they first came out and have loyal fans to this day. But filling the entire park with them seems a bit much.

Escape from Gringotts
Escape from Gringotts is a case study in how to incorporate screens and 3-D correctly.

Here’s a list of every ride that has screens as a large portion of the ride and/or also incorporates 3-D.

  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • Shrek 4-D
  • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Transformers the Ride 3-D
  • The Simpsons Ride
  • Fast & Furious – Supercharged
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

That’s a huge amount of that style of ride!

Now let’s say you just couldn’t handle motion simulated rides. You would be among many many people who have motion sickness problems. Which means there’s really not a whole for you to do here. Which is unfortunate because there really are some awesome rides there.

I even suffer from this problem occasionally and choose not to ride certain rides like this just to prevent myself from having a bad experience. What it feels like though is there’s some sort of memo that says Universal Creative can only green-light attractions if they have a motion simulation or 3-D component to it.

Many say this is a lazy way to go and with Skull Island: Reign of Kong and Fast & Furious – Supercharged basically being clones of their tram tour sections from Universal Hollywood it’s easy to come to that conclusion. Not to take away from the hard work of the creative team but it just seems like there is wasted potential.

We know what Universal is capable of, creating places like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter complete with amazing attractions. I’m not mad at Universal but lately I’ve just been disappointed.

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