Revenge of the Mummy is an award-winning dark ride that is arguably one of the most popular attractions at Universal’s various theme parks. There are currently three locations across the world housing an indoor roller coaster dedicated to the Mummy movie franchise, in Florida, California, and Singapore. Given the clear notoriety, we figured it’d be helpful to write up a comparison, similar to what we did for Transformers: The Ride – 3D. I’ll hit the key points of each one, as well as provide a little guidance as to their differences and similarities.
Hopefully, you’ll find a favorite between the bunch and, perhaps, even be inspired to take a visit to it – if not all of them!
Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Florida
The first Mummy ride opened in May of 2004 at Universal Studios Florida. This version’s building is dressed as the Museum of Antiquities and transports visitors to the movie set of a fictitious sequel to The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001) starring Brendan Fraser. Guests are treated to a “behind-the-scenes tour of the movie” via the queue, which transitions to Imhotep’s tomb at about its halfway point. The line showcases various “set pieces” while monitors broadcast a mockumentary that interviews the cast and crew during the film’s production.
Those watching the preshow video will notice that the central curse of the film series is shown to be real, with everyone taking it seriously except for Brendan – something which makes his backstage life difficult, as he can’t even get a cup of coffee from catering without wearing the Medjai symbol that will protect him from the supernatural forces. Objectively, this part of the ride isn’t a necessity to enjoy it but is still worth watching to enhance your experience and to get a better understanding of how the medallion and Reggie are tied into the overall story. (Readers would best know Reggie as the mostly-mummified, red-hat-clad “assistant to the production assistant” from the attraction’s beginning.)
After boarding Revenge of the Mummy’s mine carts, the experience gets intense pretty quickly. Reggie warns guests to turn back with one of the most quotable lines in the ride (“Are you insane? Get outta here! The curse – it’s real!”) just before an audio-animatronic Imhotep bursts from a nearby sarcophagus. The hapless assistant quickly tells everyone to find the Medjai symbol as the titular mummy sucks the poor boy’s soul from his body.
Guests are then brought to Imhotep’s treasure room, where he takes on a sand form and bribes the passengers with false promises of fortune lest they suffer for all eternity. As riders narrowly escape to the next scene, they crash into a wall and then drop backwards as Imhotep seems to take control of their vehicle. As he does, a fog projection of the villain claims everyone’s souls, launching the vehicles into part one of the 45-miler-per-hour reason we came to this attraction.
Hurling past various displays of Imhotep’s power, the car comes to a sudden stop at a “fake ending,” where a female ride attendant welcomes everyone back from her control booth. The team member barely finishes her sentence when Imhotep reappears and not only steals her soul, but shatters the booth’s glass while setting the room’s ceiling on fire. As he makes another threat, he drops the mine cart 39 feet into part two of the ride’s fast-paced experience. More black-light displays and effects tell the thrilling conclusion of the story as the protective Medjai symbol thwarts the undead high priest, bringing us back to the loading dock and the real ending, where we’re welcomed by Brendan Fraser, who would be enjoying his life a bit more – if he had his cup of coffee! (Insert ghostly swoosh here.)
Although this isn’t my favorite iteration of the ride, I enjoy the cheeky humor throughout its experience. It also has some of my favorite Universal Orlando Easter eggs – attentive guests will see a “golden dedication” in the treasure room to the former King Kong attraction that was once located here. Additionally, there are encrypted messages to be found in the queue and “missing” posters of Reggie at the exit.
Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Hollywood
Hollywood’s Revenge of the Mummy premiered a month after Florida’s and contains some differences. It exchanges the fictional movie set for a 1944 archaeological dig site during a mystical eclipse and is influenced more directly from the story of the 1999 film franchise. Its housing is themed as an ancient Egyptian tomb guarded by Anubis statues. The queue and loading dock both resemble Florida’s tomb portion, and detail-oriented guests may notice a gap in the upper portion of the load area, which reveals the eclipse taking place.
During the ride’s introduction, Warden Gad Hassan – instead of Reggie – warns passengers of the curse and is subsequently devoured by scarabs. As the car ventures to the treasure room, things get creepier as the dead come to life and reach out from all angles just before Imhotep himself enters the scene and makes his offer of an eternity of treasure in exchange for our servitude. As the room seems to crumble, the cart makes its escape into the next scene, where another animatronic of Imhotep in priest garbs claims our souls and sends us into the ride’s launch.
We can note here that each location’s coaster portion is very similar. The storytelling is continued during the ride via black-light portraits and various effects, though Hollywood’s version leans more into evading Imhotep’s army of undead, rather than the high priest coming for us himself. What increases California’s intensity is that none of Florida’s humor is present and that the last portion of the ride is spent going backwards, which is always exciting.
Interestingly, I came across some other comparisons stating that Universal Studios Hollywood’s coaster has a track length of 1,906 feet, whereas its two siblings come in at 2,200 feet. While it may not seem like much, it does make the West Coast’s ride a shorter one, with most counts estimating it to be a 30-second difference. However, none of this is a deal-breaker – Hollywood’s Revenge of the Mummy is actually my favorite of the bunch. My only complaint here is that I always find the end too abrupt, but that’s just me.
Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Singapore
This installment opened alongside Universal Studios Singapore in 2010 and stands out in its own right. Singapore aligns closely with Orlando’s concept, sans the sense of humor, but it switches out the Medjai medallion for the Book of the Living, which is the spell-book counterpart of Imhotep’s Book of the Dead from the films and the key to breaking his curse. The outside of the attraction takes on the familiar tomb theme, which is guarded by towering Anubis statues, and guests follow the queue to the boarding area as they pass by movie props and wall scriptures depicting Imhotep’s previous life.
The ride experience follows Universal Studios Florida’s beats almost exactly with small-but-notable changes along the way: aside from exchanging the Medjai symbol for the Book of the Living, Singapore has very different Imhotep animated figures. In lieu of a fog projection at the coaster’s launch, riders are sent through a physical border depicting one of the Mummy’s forms. At the point of what would have been the “fake ending” in Orlando, the team member is replaced with finding the Book of the Living on a lit pedestal just before Imhotep suddenly appears in one of my favorite scenes of this attraction.
Although its ending is just as sudden as Hollywood’s, I do like its addition of Imhotep being trapped in a sarcophagus as you leave the ride, a la Megatron in Transformers: The Ride – 3D. However, if I had to say it, my only critique of this attraction is that I wish they’d found a way to better conceal the air vents in the queue. While the story is still maintained and it doesn’t completely ruin anything, it does prove to break the illusion a bit.
Even with that said, though, Universal Studios Singapore’s iteration of Revenge of the Mummy is still worth anyone’s time.
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