Themed attractions at Universal Studios Florida – how do they live up to the source material?

Themed attractions at Universal Studios Florida – how do they live up to the source material?

Themed attractions at Universal Studios Florida – how do they live up to the source material?


When you think of Universal Studios at Universal Orlando Resort, your mind probably goes directly to the movies. That is what this place is all about — movies! In Universal Studios, there are plenty of rides that you will recognize from the movie screen or your television screen. Some of the attractions will feel just like the movie or show it came from, but several of them will leave you a little confused. Let’s take a closer look…


E.T. Adventure

Although this attraction is based on the movie, it isn’t (if you understand me). Most of us have seen the movie, and it is definitely a classic, but the ride does not necessarily follow the movie. The ride begins with a short movie to introduce the ride as Steven Spielberg and E.T. explain what has happened: E.T.’s planet is in danger, and you have to get him back to his home planet on bikes (but you do not have to pedal). The ride relates to the movie as you escape the police and NASA, and especially as you fly over the city and see the bikes passing over the moon. But when you get to E.T.’s home planet, nothing is related to the movie. What really does not make sense is the fact that E.T. goes back home in the movie, but on the ride he is still on Earth.


MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack

This ride puts together all of the elements of the first Men in Black movie. The line takes you through the Men in Black headquarters, composed of the tall white walls, televisions projecting where aliens have been sighted all around the world, the guns (small and large), the alien slime that you see in the movie. On the ride, you are taken through the “training facility,” which is also seen in the movie when the rookies are tested to see how they shoot. When you are taken out of the training facility and into the streets, it still feels like the movie. At the end, they even flash the memory eraser.


Shrek 4-D

In this show, you are introduced to no new characters or plot twist. As we all know (well, all those who have seen the first Shrek movie), Shrek and Fiona are now married as a happy ogre and ogress. Farquad is now a ghost (as he was eaten by Dragon), and he wants revenge against both Shrek and Fiona. This ride basically is a continuation of the movie, so it is not contradicting or confusing in anyway.

Shrek 4-D at Universal Studios Florida.
Shrek 4-D at Universal Studios Florida.


The Simpsons Ride

As a fan of the classic television show, The Simpsons, I can say that Universal Orlando did a wonderful job of carrying on the main plot with the storyline of the show. Basically, you are visiting Krustyland while Sideshow Bob is back for revenge. It is a motion simulator ride that takes you through Krustyland and Springfield as you try to escape from Sideshow Bob and his wrath. Krustyland, Sideshow Bob (as well as all of the other characters mentioned in the ride except the Panda), and all of the small details (and there are a lot) have been mentioned in the television show. It has a nice flow, so I would rate this probably the most relatable to the targeted movie or show.


Terminator 2: 3-D

The only really big complaint I have is that John Conner is supposed to be a lot younger. In the movie, he is about ten and in the show, he looks around eighteen. It does not really make sense to me, but I guess they could not really have him suddenly get younger, and it is better to have an older person performing the stunts it takes to make the show. Other than that, the show does a pretty good job going along with the movie. The live actors resemble the real actors in the movie, and you cannot really tell that it is not them since whenever they are showed on the screen it is of the real actors from the movie. Regardless of its flaws, the show is very exciting and is a can’t-miss.


Twister… Ride It Out

Since this movie gets played on TNT very often, I have seen it probably at least fifteen times (whenever there is a Universal or Disney movie on, I have to watch it!). If you have seen the movie, then you will recognize the scene that the attraction is trying to portray. However, they also include some other elements (one of those elements being a flying cow). The scene is where the crew stops at the drive-in and gets a coffee when the storm hits, so they all take cover in the snack bar. All the details are there; the sign, the movie, the window shattering, the screams, and most importantly, the twister.



Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue

This is definitely a stop I need to make every trip. Although it has almost nothing to do with the movie, it is a pretty good show. The only relevant part of the show is the character Beetlejuice. He introduces many other characters, such as Frankenstein, the Bride of Frankenstein, Count Dracula, the Wolfman, and Hip and Hop. The movie ends with Beetlejuice in the waiting room and him getting his head shrunk. It does not really make sense, but the show is more about the performance, not about the relation.


Fear Factor Live

Just as Fear Factor (the show) is coming back for more seasons, you can experience Fear Factor Live, which makes you feel like you are really in the show. All of the elements are there, from hanging at dangerous heights to eating gross concoctions. There are three segments of the show, all physical events, and then there are two different segments involving other participants from the audience. One involves four people have to consume a “smoothie” involving a variety of bugs, fish-heads, tails, random meat, and sour milk. The other involves one person getting multiple “deadly” scorpions getting dropped on their head. You become more immersed in the action if you are involved, but you must be eighteen or older and you have to audition prior to the show. This is without a doubt an amazing show and really like the television show, while still having the contestants stay safe.


[sws_author_bio user=”emilyca_” size=”105″ authorposts=”More OI posts by Emily” name_format=”About the author”] [/sws_author_bio]

Taylor Strickland Taylor Strickland is the Owner & Publisher at Orlando Informer, the internationally awarded independent resource for guests visiting Orlando. In this position, he leads the website's overall direction and day-to-day operations, working with a team of writers, editors, developers, and producers.

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