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2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: Universal Studios Florida's Shrek 4-D

By Robert Niles
Published: January 15, 2010 at 7:47 AM
Universal Studios Florida's Shrek 4-D joins the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament as the 11th seed in the Best Movie or Animated Show bracket.

Universal Studios Florida's Shrek 4-D

Not to be confused with "Shrek Forever After" (the upcoming theatrical Shrek 4, which will be in 3-D), Shrek 4-D, the theme park attraction, was directed by Simon J. Smith, who went on to direct the movie Shrek 2.

Confused yet? It gets worse: A home version of the film, minus in the in-theater effects, was sold on DVD as Shrek 3-D. Yikes.

Anyway... Shrek 4-D takes place after the action of the original feature film. Shrek and Fiona are on their way to their honeymoon, only to be waylaid by the ghost of Lord Farquaad. One thing leads to another (being chucked at the audience), and our heroes eventually go plunging over the edge of a waterfall. But, of course, everything turns out okay in the end.

Except for Tinkerbell, of course. Hey, it's a Universal show. Ya gotta take a shot at Disney, right?

Shrek 4-D plays at Universal Studios in Florida, Hollywood and Japan, and will soon debut in Singapore. The attraction also plays at Warner Bros. Movie World in Gold Coast, Australia and at a theme park in Germany.

Four-D movies were all the rage in the theme park business in the early 2000s. Relatively inexpensive to produce, 4-D films offered more "ride-like" action than traditional movies and a better on-screen experience than many guests could find in their local theaters at the time. But with newer 3-D movies, such as Avatar, providing visual thrill rides in neighborhood movie houses, the appeal of 4-D movies in theme parks has diminished somewhat.

Yet, a fun story remains a fun story. And Theme Park Insider readers have rated Shrek 4-D among the best in the industry. But will they vote it beyond the first round of this year's tournament?

We'll find out when the tournament starts in March. In the meantime, let's hear what you think about Shrek 4-D, in the comments.

Readers' Opinions

From Rod Whitenack on January 15, 2010 at 8:40 AM
The spiders crawling across the back of your legs got a HUGE audience response when I saw this attraction. You can't replicate stuff like that in "Avatar."
From Rob P on January 15, 2010 at 9:16 AM
I did start a thread about the effect of 3D movies on the 3D and 4D Theme Park attractions and gather that a lot of people don't share my views.
I think they will have an impact. The attractions will lose some of their uniqueness as audiences become blase about the 3D genre.
That said I do like Shrek as a franchise and I think the 4D show is pretty good.
( Helped in no small way by quite a good pre-show while you're waiting )
I do wonder, each time a new movie comes out, whether the quality of that movie will also have an effect on audiences at the Parks. If the movie's good then there'll be a positive response. But if it's really poor then the franchise may suffer in the short term. The attractions will ride it out of course and will be treated as a separate entity eventually.
Fortunately , from what I've heard, the final episode of Shrek at the movies is good so the attraction will benefit from that.
From Joshua Counsil on January 15, 2010 at 11:18 AM
A fun story is fun. A rehash of jokes from the movie is not.

This gets a 6-Fair. Besides the recycled jokes from the movie, the other main thing that bothers me about the attraction is the horse chase scene, in which pneumatic controls on your seat give the sensation of galloping. Too bad those pneumatics are extremely loud, and not to mention jerky, making a relatively new attraction seem old and cheap.

From Sylvain Comeau on January 15, 2010 at 12:52 PM
Shrek 4-D is good, but this category belongs to Mickey's PhilharMagic. Robert, you will be nominating PhilharMagic, won't you?
From Manny Barron on January 15, 2010 at 1:51 PM
Shrek 4-D is one of the better 3-D(or in this case 4-D) show in theme parks. The story, the sound, the in theater effects, and the characters are all really nice. I'm surprised its ranked kinda low at 11, i think it should pull off the first round upset(depending who the six seed is of course).
From Robert Niles on January 15, 2010 at 5:34 PM
I'm not nominating anything; you folks have done that with your ratings over the past year. (Actually, I did slip one attraction into the tournament, for reasons I'll explain when its profile comes up.)

That said, you'll just have to wait to see if (okay, who am I fooling?) where PhilharMagic makes the field. :-)

From Anthony Murphy on January 15, 2010 at 9:36 PM
Not a fan of this and I am suprised its so high. It is OK, but I prefer Philharmagic much more(same effects/concepts).

I will give credit to the preshow and Donkey's Photo Finish which is very interactive and funny!

From Michael Owen on January 17, 2010 at 8:30 AM
Shrek 4-D is what I like to call a theme park 'one hit wonder'. What I mean by that is that it's enjoyable the first time around but thereafter it becomes boring.

There's not really anything too unique about the attraction apart from it's moving seats, which as Josh mentioned are extremely jerky.

I bought Shrek 3-D on DVD, which is essentially the 4-D attraction you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. I'd much rather put that in the DVD player every now and again than wait in line for the attraction, especially when you consider just how long the line can get.

From 67.8.63.61 on January 17, 2010 at 6:15 PM
I have to agree, this is a one hit wonder. I do not bother going to this show when I go to USF. speaking of USF, with Disaster closed for rehab and the Fear Factor show being gone awhile..there really isnt' much there to spend a whole day. There's only like 2-3 attractions I would go on in the entire park..I think their Terminator show is also a one hit wonder.

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