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Final 'Back to the Future' Ride to Close in May

March 31, 2016, 8:05 AM · Universal Studios Japan announced today that it will close its Back to the Future ride - Universal's last remaining installation of the attraction - in May.

The final day will be May 31. Universal previously closed its other two installations of Back to the Future - at Universal Studios Florida and Hollywood - to convert the attractions into The Simpsons Ride. That won't be happening in Japan, and the company has not yet announced what will replace Back to the Future in the Osaka park.

Back to the Future: The Ride put visitors into DeLorean time machines that "flew" in front a giant IMAX-style screen on an adventure that sent them through time in pursuit of series bad guy Biff Tannen. Set in Doc Brown's Institute of Future Technology, Biff had made off with one of the DeLoreans, but not before locking away Doc and his staff. That left only us, the institute's visitors, free to hop in the remaining time machines to go after Biff.

Last year was the 30th anniversary of the original Back to the Future film, and last October was the date "in the future" that Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled to in the 1989 sequel. Since that date played a role in Back to the Future: The Ride, too, that left the attraction in the ironic position over the past few months of sending visitors into the future... to a date in the past.

Here is the park's announcement, in Japanese. The park will be running a "Back to the Future ยท The Ride Goodbye Campaign" in the weeks leading up the closure. And the ride's sponsor, Japan Airlines, will move over to sponsor The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride starting in June.

What will replace Back to the Future? Will it be part of the new Nintendo land that the Universal is developing? A new Minion Mayhem? Diagon Alley? Something else? Until there's an official word from the park... fans can speculate all they want.

Replies (10)

March 31, 2016 at 8:50 AM · My money's on Despicable Me, especially since the Minions were featured more prominently in the 15th anniversary poster than Harry Potter.
March 31, 2016 at 10:23 AM · One of the greatest films EVER and I never got to experience the attraction at any of the parks! :(

Japan by May 31st..Hmmm...can't cost any more that a normal WDW vacation!!! ;)

March 31, 2016 at 11:40 AM · I've heard rumors about Despicable Me coming to Japan, but I feel like Nintendo is the more likely bet, considering its headquartered in Japan and they just announced the land recently
March 31, 2016 at 12:48 PM · The Simpsons ride need to be fixed. The motion was too strong for a perceived kids ride. They should give you a choice of a gentle ride. Back To The Future is a classic, but it should be re-editted and remastered without the date references.
March 31, 2016 at 12:57 PM · The view from the back row of the car in the Simpsons ride is just awful - they need to raise it. Visuals looking out of date as well.
March 31, 2016 at 9:59 PM · This is huge news for me! Back to the Future is my favorite ride ever and I was hoping to ride the Universal Japan version before they closed it. Seems like I'm going to miss the opportunity.

Robert, you were the bearer of bad news but I really appreciate you sharing this information on TPI.

From here on out when I drive past the local Texaco gas station instead of thinking "One day I'll make it out to Japan for BTTF" it will be "My favorite ride of all time is officially history".

April 1, 2016 at 3:53 AM · I always wanted to do it but never got the chance. I missed at in Florida by a few months.
April 1, 2016 at 7:45 AM · I haven't rode BTTF since I was really little. I still have little fragments of physical memories from the ride, the most vivid one is the part where you fly into the dinosaur's mouth.

I was really hoping to go to USJ to reride it and finally make those memories more than just fragments. Now I won't be able to. Excuse me while I go rethink my life.

April 2, 2016 at 1:52 PM · I went to USJ for this ride and I was quite disappointed :(

April 3, 2016 at 1:59 PM · I had a feeling this was coming. I was lucky enough to be in Osaka last month so went to USJ. This ride (at least the Florida version) holds so many memories of my childhood vacations I was genuinely emotional riding it again. I'm so glad I got to go on it one last time before it closed.

And my 2 cents on the replacement is that it will DEFINITELY be Dispicable Me. When you walk down the street in USJ with BTTF at the end you should be hit with this amazing view of the institute of future technology right in front of you, but it's now completely obscured by a monstrosity of a Minions shop. It felt like they'd given up on it and I even commented to a friend last week that I thought Minion Mayhem would take it over.

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