Universal Studios Orlando Florida, is what Harry Potter and Marvel fans alike call their home. The parks have entertained guests year after year much like Disney World is doing right down the road. I have attended both parks at Universal Studios Florida multiple times and I never get tired of it. Universal Studios have my favorite theme parks in the world with some of my favorite attractions including The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Jurassic Park: River Adventure, Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and my personal favorite: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.
However, there were quite a few attractions that fans including myself still miss to this day although some of these I attended at a very young age. So join me as we hop into a DeLorean and travel back in time… We’ll be there before you can say, “Great Scott!!!”
#5. Star Trek Adventure
Star Trek Adventure allowed guests to become part of the “Star Trek” universe and “to boldly go, where no man has gone before.” This attraction took place in the early 90’s and was a massive hit especially for fans of the sci-fi franchise. Guests would insert themselves in an episode of Star Trek and would take part in uniform aboard the Starship Enterprise. The guests became actors and took command of the ship however they were not required to memorize lines. All they were asked to do was to simply stare at the camera crew and were shown what to say, where to look, and to perform various hand gestures. The guests were also filmed during the entire process and were allowed to purchase a VHS tape (remember those?) and watch the whole “episode” in the comfort of their own home. My parents actually still have their copy when they took part in the attraction back in the day.
Here is a video of various guests partaking in Star Trek Adventure:
There have been recent rumors that Shrek: 4D could eventually be replaced by a newer Star Trek attraction. This attraction would most likely focus more on the newer films that were directed by J.J. Abrams and starred Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Zoe Saldana.
#4. Ghostbusters Spooktacular
I really wish this attraction was higher up on the list. However, I was much too young to remember this show. Ghostbusters Spooktacular pitted our four favorite heroes against various ghosts from the films including but not limited to… Take it away Ray!: The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. This show was full of fantastic props as well as amazing special effects. However, this show did not last very long. It opened in 1990 and was replaced just six years later by Twister: Ride It Out.
The show had a lot going for it. It had the humor, charisma, and nostalgia factor that most people had while watching the show. It was supposed to feel like you were there fighting with the Ghostbusters taking down Gozer and saving not only Manhattan, but the entire world! Everyone loves the Ghostbusters as they were such a hit in the 1980’s. It is very unfortunate that IT HAD to be replaced with an attraction where the movie (Twister) was only a mild hit.
To be honest, I wish they had kept this show. Twister: Ride It Out has been around far too long (almost 20 years) and needs to bring back the Ghostbusters. Heck, we’re even getting a reboot of the franchise very shortly! Now would be a great time to bring the show back with improved special effects while staying true to the original movies.
Watch the video below to get an idea of what the show entailed:
A fun fact: They actually kept the firehouse from the entrance to the show and used it as part of the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit attraction. See for yourself:
#3. Back to the Future: The Ride
Before Krustyland, there was Back to the Future: The Ride. This attraction was awesome! We joined Doctor Emmett Brown on a simulating adventure in our own eight passenger DeLorean DMC-12 while chasing Biff Tannen who stole the original DeLorean time machine from Doc Brown’s Institute. While locked in his lab, Doc asks the test subjects (the guests) to help assist him in stopping Biff before he alters the space time continuum.
This was yet another attraction that I wished they had not replaced. While I don’t mind The Simpson’s Ride, I really enjoyed this attraction as I am a HUGE fan of the Back to the Future movies. Seeing Christopher Lloyd reprise his role as Doc Brown brought a smile to my face each and every time. The ride was a fun adventure going back in time to Hill Valley, to the Ice Age, and then straight inside a Tyrannosaurus Rex’s mouth during the Cretaceous Period.
The attraction was humorous, stayed true to the movie, but most importantly, it was a grand time! (pun absolutely intended). However, if your willing to travel, you can relive this ride experience only at Universal Studios Japan.
This attraction has been fully beloved by fans ever since its park debut in 1990. However, it wasn’t without its flaws. Like the film, the attraction faced many breakdowns with the use of many practical effects such as fire as well as of course the multiple encounters of the shark. It also didn’t help that the entire attraction was encased in water. The ride consistently broke down and needed to be repaired every so often. However, that did not stop the guests from wanting to almost be devoured by a great white shark. This attraction should have had a sign that read: “WARNING: This ride will not make you less fearful of sharks.”
If this ride taught us anything, it’s: “You’ll never go in the water again.” The ride Jaws perfected that charm or rather horror from the film franchise that terrified us from the get go (thanks Steven Spielberg!) The attraction also provided us the famous soundtrack briefly throughout. Even if you had ridden it multiple times, you still felt like you were being hunted like the people at Amity Island were from the film. Although I cannot complain what the ride was replaced by (thanks to the Harry Potter fans out there) it still felt like watching an enjoyable cinematic masterpiece. If you’d like to slightly relive that experience, you can watch it right below:
My number #1 choice has to be Kongfrontation. I have been a lifelong King Kong fan and I was always excited to see the big hairy beast try and take us down. This ride sent chills down my spine each and every time I waited in line. Walking through to the attraction while seeing all of the footage from his rampage through New York City assured guests that they were about to experience the ride of their life. Like Disney World’s Jungle Cruise, Kongfrontation had a fellow tourist cast member drive guests inside of an aerial tram (with no windows). The driver was required to guide them while trying to avoid encountering Kong. Well, for those of you who have experienced this attraction before, he fails; not once, but TWICE. Yes, viewers who were on the ride saw Kong two times with each encounter taking place on a different side. This allowed people sitting on either side of the tram to experience the full effect.
The best part of the ride was when Kong would grab the tram and drop you a few times. There were also amazing effects with fire that made the attraction all the more enjoyable. It is unfortunate that this ride is no longer there although Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride was a fantastic choice for a replacement (this is one of my favorite current Universal Studios Florida attractions). Even though we don’t have the ride any longer, fortunately we can still watch Kong on the big screen once again in Kong: Skull Island on March 10, 2017 starring Tom Hiddleston, Michael Keaton, and J. K. Simmons. If you’d like to get a visual experience of the former attraction, please click on the video below:
Honorable Mentions: The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera/Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoons Blast and Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of Making Movies.
So what former attraction at Universal Studios Florida do you miss the most? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!