Theme Park Insider

Back to the Future is now part of the past

May 31, 2016, 7:56 AM · The world's last remaining installation of Back to the Future: The Ride closed today at Universal Studios Japan.

Universal Studios had built three installation of the large screen/simulator ride, based on the popular Michael J. Fox time-travel franchise. The other two - at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood - closed in 2007 to make way for The Simpsons Ride.

Since The Simpsons isn't a thing in Japan, Osaka's version of the ride was spared. However, the passage of time doesn't treat time-travel stories well. The ride's trip into the future - of 2015 - now is a trip to the past. That makes Back to the Future: The Ride an easy target for removal as Universal looks to bring a variety of new intellectual properties into the Osaka park, led by Nintendo but also possibly including the Dreamworks Animation franchises that Universal's corporate parent recently bought.

Still, for Back to the Future fans in the United States who mourned the loss of the rides here, today's closure means that they've lost their last opportunity to ride Back to the Future... someplace else, at least. So, for now, there's just bootlegs on YouTube.

"Remember, the future is what we make it!"

Update: Our friend Dave Cobb was in Osaka for the final day and posted this lovely tribute to the ride on Facebook, which includes links to a photo galleries of cosplaying fans who turned out, too:

Replies (6)

May 31, 2016 at 8:38 AM · As the shop in front of the Back to the future: the ride has already turned into a Minion Mart, I think they will create a new Despicable me ride. Using Super Silly Fun Land they can mix the "Despicable me franchise" with the concept of an attraction/ride in a fictional amusement park of the Simpsons ride and its Krustyland.
May 31, 2016 at 8:57 AM · This was one of my favorite rides of all time based on my favorite movie of all time. That being said, theme parks cannot turn into museums. They have to constantly evolve, so in that respect, I say thanks for the memories, Back to the Future!

On another note, I own the Back to the Future 25th anniversary DVD set and it contains Back to the Future: The Ride in it's entirety, so you can still re-live it at home in HD quality.

May 31, 2016 at 10:17 AM · Just too bad. Should have renamed it "Back to the Future Past".
May 31, 2016 at 10:26 AM · Jennifer: "Dr. Brown, I went to go ride Back to the Future in Japan and...now it's erased."

Doc: "Of course it's erased!"

Jennifer: "But what does that mean?"

Doc: "It means your future hasn't been written yet. No one's has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make is a good one."

May 31, 2016 at 1:19 PM · Well, a friend of a friend of mine knows Doc... maybe he can lend us his Delorean for one last ride?
May 31, 2016 at 3:12 PM · They should just add a Michael J Fox animatronic somewhere and it'll be good for 10 more years.

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