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Vote of the week: Which new Universal attraction would you most like to see in Orlando?

By Robert Niles
Published: September 30, 2010 at 10:11 PM
Okay, so folks love The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And many theme park fans are enjoying the 20th edition of Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights.

But theme parks are a tough business. What are ya gonna do for us in 2011 and beyond, Universal? ;^)

Universal globe at Universal Studios Florida

Universal Orlando might be Universal's most popular theme park resort, but the company has a few major attractions at its others parks around the world which do not appear at either Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure. Which of those would you most want to see make its way to Orlando?

That's our vote of the week.

Here are your options, in alphabetical order:

  • Battlestar Galactica: Dueling Vekoma roller coasters - one track an inverted coaster, the other a traditional sit-down. Currently under repair at Universal Studios Singapore.
  • King Kong 360/3-D: a 90-second 3-D film of a Kong battle on Skull Island, presented on wrap-around screens. Currently playing as part of the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood.
  • Madagascar: A Crate Adventure: An indoor boat ride featuring characters from the DreamWorks pictures, taking place within the giant ship from the film. Currently under construction at Universal Studios Singapore.
  • Space Fantasy: The Ride: A space-themed, indoor Mack spinning coaster. Currently operating at Universal Studios Japan.
  • Transformers: A 3-D motion-simulator dark ride, a la Spider-Man, based on the Michael Bay action movies. Currently under development for Universal Studios Singapore and Universal Studios Hollywood.

I'll leave to you to debate the pros and cons of these attractions, and their desirability in Orlando. (Only two of the five are now operating, for starters.)


Tell us, in the comments, how you break down this decision. And thanks, as always, for reading Theme Park Insider. (I'll be back this weekend with photos from the opening of Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland, so please keep reading!)

Readers' Opinions

From Randall Peek on October 1, 2010 at 1:21 AM
My vote goes to King Kong since it doesn't duplicate anything already in Orlando, such as Transformers does for Spider-Man and Madagascar does (to a lesser degree) Popeye's Bilge-Rat Barges. A pair of dueling coasters of different types in somewhat novel, but Dueling Dragons, or whatever its called in its current HP incarnation is already in attendance. This only leaves the fairly generic Space Fantasy, and that will surely come up short compared to the indoor spinning coaster sure to come to Disney's Hollywood Studios in the next few years. For that reason, King King seems to be the sure bet for novelty.
From David Brown on October 1, 2010 at 10:27 AM
I've seen a video of the Space Fantasy ride and I have to say I was deeply impressed so I voted for that. It would bring something totally different to Orlando - all the other options are just upgrades of existing attractions, apart from King Kong which is not raelly enough to warrant a stand-alone attraction.
From 75.89.239.15 on October 1, 2010 at 3:44 AM
I voted for Madagascar because it is the one I am most interested in, although it was a vote I had to think about because I think all of the attractions are ones I'd be glad to see come to Orlando. I like the BattleStar Galactica concept a lot because it's a family coaster and a more intense coaster..... but since they already have dueling coasters at IOA, I doubt they'd bring it. I also liked the Space coaster idea, although since there is a space mountain (I know, it's less intense probably and does not spin.... ) Orlando seems to have the space theme more than covered. I think I am just interested to see the Madascar ride.... I have not seen anything like it from Universal that I know of (it would be a great competitor with Disney since most anyone probably could ride it and enjoy and it may be very detailed in the props or scenes). I also would be interested in knowing if there would be any little drops or anything in it (maybe something like a much better Maelstrom at Epcot).
From Jenny Rees on October 1, 2010 at 5:05 AM
I voted for King Kong. The old ride used to be one of my favourites in Universal Studios and should never have been removed in the first place. Based on a classic film, it will never grow old and even if the studios did want to alter it in the future, they would only need to alter the movie being played and the ride sequence for a totally different experience. Bring back my gorilla.
From Brandon Townsend on October 1, 2010 at 7:45 AM
Dark rides are the best, so Madagascar for me. Pirates, Peter Pan, Haunted Mansion, are all Disney legends. Universal would do well to try an match the excellence of these rides.
From 216.226.127.120 on October 1, 2010 at 8:09 AM
I voted Transformers because I can't get enough of those kind of rides.
From Anthony Murphy on October 1, 2010 at 9:04 AM
Crate adventure sounds interesting and different. The rest had a too similar feeling of Dueling Dragons, Spiderman, etc
From 70.22.203.120 on October 1, 2010 at 11:06 AM
i like something different, so i chose the Galactica attraction....and UNIVERSAL ORLANDO had a KING KONG attraction that was AWESOME! 2 bad it no longer exists!
From Robert Niles on October 1, 2010 at 2:51 PM
Here's how I break this down:

Madagascar (my pick): This brings to the table the one thing that Universal doesn't have in Orlando - a family water dark ride. Theme parks can't get enough no-height-limit, narrative attractions that appeal to all ages. Madagascar - if it ever opens - could do that. Yes, this ride loses points for its delayed opening, but I suspect that Universal Orlando might have the experience to manage this project to completion better than USS has.

Space Fantasy: The Ride: Universal doesn't have an indoor coaster, either - a strong asset in Orlando's hot, humid weather. (Update: OK, Revenge of the the Mummy. See below.) Space Fantasy's gotten rave reviews and the fact that it actually works might push it to the top pick.

Transformers: Great franchise. Sounds like a great tech upgrade to Spider-Man. And maybe it need to replace Spidey, too. (See my post in August about Universal and Disney and Marvel.) But it's not different enough from Spider-Man to beat out my top two.

King Kong 360/3-D: Big drop off to this point. Yes, it's a great experience. But while it works well within the context of Hollywood's Studio Tour, the Kong show is too short to stand on its own in Orlando. It'd need a new treatment - to the point where we really would have to consider it a new attraction, not a duplicate of one from another park.

Battlestar Galactica: Universal Orlando doesn't need another roller coaster that doesn't work.

From Robert Niles on October 1, 2010 at 11:34 AM
P.S. I added a video to the Space Fantasy listing page, so that those who haven't visited Japan can get a sense of the ride, from its opening day.
From Robert Niles on October 1, 2010 at 11:43 AM
BTW, for those who have watched the video, or who are familiar with Universal Studios Japan, how weird is it to see Snoopy as the mascot of a Universal theme park?
From Andrew Holden on October 1, 2010 at 1:32 PM
I chose Transformers only because there wasn't a non of the above choice!
From Tiffany J. L. Alfonso on October 1, 2010 at 1:51 PM
King Kong - for the sake of nostalgia...
From 75.89.239.15 on October 1, 2010 at 2:27 PM
WOW, It was not number one when I saw this yesterday, but I guess there was a transformers upset. It would do well in Orlando, but I just see it as a fitting replacement for Spidey.... and like something that is already in Orlando. I agree with what Robert has to say about Madagascar. I also checked out an on-line video of Space Fantasy and it looked pretty cool.... although I do somewhat count Mummy as Universal's indoor coaster. Still, Space Fantasy and Mummy would be very different. Any of these additions would be one more thing to make going to Orlando fun and increase compitition. I also especially like any new ride that creates new atmosphere or things to see for both people on AND off of the ride (such as the way Manta came with things other than just being another roller coaster and created great scenery for those not on the ride).
From Robert Niles on October 1, 2010 at 2:52 PM
You're right - I guess we should count The Mummy as an indoor roller coaster, but it just strikes me as such a different experience than something like Space Mountain that I forget about it being built around a coaster track when I think of the ride line-up at USF.
From Joshua Counsil on October 1, 2010 at 4:09 PM
I chose Transformers, but after reading Robert's pick, I think I'd switch to Madagascar.

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