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A look at Universal's Cinematic Spectacular in soft-opening

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Published: May 3, 2012 at 7:20 AM

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On my current Orlando vacation, I was lucky enough to experience Universal's Cinematic Spectacular in soft-open twice! The first show was on April 25th and the second was on April 30th. The show started at 8:30pm both of those nights. It lasted approximately 20 minutes and could be viewed from every angle in the lagoon. I grabbed a seat about 10 minutes before the show started. Almost all the seats were taken, but I was able to find a few still empty on the deck behind the Richter's Burgers Co. building. The area was posted "Splash Zone". During my first viewing, I hardly got wet. An occasional mist cloud blew in my face during a breeze. The second show was a different story. I only sat one table further down from the previous show, but this time there were 25mph wind gusts. High winds, plus 50 foot water fountains, equals SOAKED! I had to laugh because I told my family that we'd be fine because I knew that I didn't really get wet the first time around. Well there goes my credibility!

The show itself was great! The water screens are surprisingly clear and the colored fountains help set the mood for what is on the screen. There are clips from pretty much all of Universal's most memorable movies over the last hundred years. Everything from action, to comedy, to romance, and of course horror. And the commentary from Morgan Freeman really brings everything together. It even gave me the chills a couple of times... or maybe it was the water and wind!

Universal did a great job all in all. I have seen some of Disney's night time shows and I'd have to put this on par with them. This show is way better than the Universal 360 lagoon show in my opinion.

I asked a team member and they told me that the show should be running in soft-open every night that the park is open until 8:30pm from now to the official open on May 8th (weather permitting). To find out for sure, check for signs around the lagoon that say sneak preview or ask a cast member at the gate.
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Readers' Opinions

From Donna McKay on May 3, 2012 at 9:04 AM
Sounds great! By pure chance, I will be there on 8th May. I'll be sure to avoid the "splash zones! though!
From Dominick D on May 3, 2012 at 9:53 AM
I saw the show Sunday and was under-whelmed. It was a combo of The Great Movie Ride's montage and some WOC fountains + fireworks.
From 173.48.90.31 on May 3, 2012 at 9:55 AM
Is this show on the waterway inside Universal Studios? Or outside in the waterway outside the park in Citywalk? Thanks
From Robert Niles on May 3, 2012 at 9:58 AM
Inside the park, on the lagoon.
From 166.248.113.173 on May 3, 2012 at 10:35 AM
To be honest i had doubts about this but next time i go I'll check it out! I've already worked a schedule out. Hit islands of adventure with universal hotel early access in morning and work from wizarding world to spiderman then go to studios at midday work counterclockwise go to despicable me and rip ride rocket during parade then probably go to t2 or mib until cinematic spectacular .
From Skipper Adam on May 3, 2012 at 12:20 PM
It's on par with something like WDW's Fantasmic. However, that Fantasmic is old and outdated.
From N B on May 3, 2012 at 7:04 PM
What were you expecting Dom? $100 bills to come flying out of the lagoon? You were probably preprogrammed to be under-whelmed [sic] as the show doesn't reside within the borders of Disney owned property. For someone who bashes USF so often, you claim to spend quite a bit of time there.
From Dominick D on May 3, 2012 at 7:25 PM
NB, I don't bash UO. I came in with high expectations, but I came out under-whelmed.
From 69.86.6.180 on May 5, 2012 at 12:07 AM
I thought it was fantastic- the fireworks alone outdo a lot of the Disney shows I've seen. And in case you don't want to hang out in the park till 8:30 you can also see the fantastic fireworks on your way out to the parking lot and from Citiwalk too. It is spectacular. If you were not impressed I think you are sourgraping a bit.
From Bob Liebe on May 5, 2012 at 12:09 AM
I respect Dom's opinion. It's not the greatest show of all time, but it was good enough for me to skip my 7:30pm hotel shuttle and pay for a cab... twice! Personally I thought there could have been a few more fireworks, but other than that I thought it was well done.
From N B on May 5, 2012 at 1:40 AM
I am not expecting the greatest show I have ever seen, it's just a tribute to 100 years of movies. I am more interested in seeing the film clips than fireworks.

The 360 show was pretty good, but I think the mist projectors are a cool way to have a temporary screen. The big white globes in the lagoon always looked out of place in the daytime.

From 71.87.24.2 on May 5, 2012 at 8:37 PM
I totally agree about the 360 spheres N B. I think they where a bit of an eye soar during the day. I only got to see that show once, but I was unable to get a good view of the projection on the sphere. That's what disappointed me the most about it. The new show sounds like it will be right up your alley! I hope you enjoy it like I did!

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