I hope it is King Kong or an improved Jaws attraction. I'm very upset and at the same time, excited.
don't start spreading those kind of rumors! It's just getting it's HD upgrade lol
Robert - "In effort to boost attendance, Universal closes Jaws to bring Harry Potter to Universal Studios Florida, too. :^)"
And it will be connected to Hogsmead with the Hogwarts Express! (Fine Print: 2 park ticket required for admission on Hogwarts Express)
By the way, MASSIVE html fail in the article. None of the links seem to go anywhere...
but speaking of jaws closing...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10thnMMfWTw
The "tour guides" on here remind me of the personal touch that the Jungle Cruise Skippers provide. Sad. =(
Why all the hate for a Harry Potter attraction on the west coast? So what if it's placed next to New York? Where I'm from our closest theme park is well over 1,000 miles away so when we get the chance to visit these places, the last thing I'm thinking about is the placement of the attractions in the park. I guess I would be happy for the folks who can't afford to travel that they would be able to experience these attractions.
Look at the timing. This morning Screamscape runs a story about "Phase 2" of Potter. Less than six hours later, we're told by Universal that an entire section of the Studios park will be closing, but we aren't told what the replacement is going to be.
Would it be a good idea? I don't know. But I don't think we can rule it out entirely.
Thank God, I got to ride "Jaws" plenty of times. It is a shame that another Universal "classic" ride is being trashed to make room for the latest thing. If I had my way, I'd like to see something along the lines of MGM's "Great Movie Ride" (but much, much better!) but traversing the history of Universal horror films from "The Phantom of the Opera" to "Frankenstein" and "Dracula" to the present. Maybe something like a "Famous Monsters of Universal Filmland" ride.
But my money is on "Transformers."
Not sure if Universal has a property that could fit here. Fast and Furious? Maybe, those movies are more popular than ever. My guess is they go the Dreamworks route and bring some of those popular brands to the park. How to Train your Dragon,Madagascar, and so on.
As for Jaws it is a bit of a fast send off. I remember back when Back to the Future was closing at USH in 2007 they announced months ahead of time the date of closure. This allowed people, like myself, to be there on the last operating day of the ride. It will be kind of weird without Jaws at the park.
I did notice on Google Maps that they are clearing a bunch of land just north of Jaws. Does that have anything to do with it?
The land available from Amity, Jaws and the possible parking lots behind it could fit three new themed areas.
Considering Universal Parks have the Dreamworks Animation license and Florida still haven't done anything for Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon, all of which could support an E Ticket attraction and a highly themed environment. Also consider that the new lands need to fit in into the lagoon which Madagascar and Berk (Dragon)would.
Jaws is a great ride, but when's the last time you had to wait more than 10 minutes in the off-season? I can't remember the last time it wasn't a straight walk-on. Factor in how much the ride probably costs to operate (the boats, having a cast member on every ride vehicle, the pyro effects) and you have an attraction that probably costs more to operate than the crowds warrant. Factor into that the fact that the film is 36 years old (and I say that through gritted teeth, since it's easily my favorite film of all time) and you've got an attraction that's ripe for the chopping block.
Meanwhile, over at Islands you have a license to print money based on a themed area, some re-themed rides, and one new attraction. While we may think the idea is crass and myopic, it doesn't change the fact that Harry Potter has taken IOA from a has-been to a contender (and please understand that I love the park. But ten years without a new attraction is practically unsustainable in a market as competitive as Orlando). The suits see that Harry Potter money and they want more.
So while Robert scoffs at the Harry Potter rumor, I can't see a single reason (apart from the aforementioned myopic crassness) why they wouldn't want to double down with Potter attractions on both ends of Citiwalk. I don't think it's a great idea and I honestly think it messes with the whole theme of Studios, but when you're dealing with the money men, the money is going to win.
And here's the thing that they know - it doesn't ultimately matter what any of us think. We'll still go. Just like people who hate Avatar will still have to go to Animal Kingdom. Just like people who hate Harry Potter still went to Islands (and begrudgingly rode and enjoyed Forbidden Journey). This may not be the greatest long term plan for the parks, but this is still the same company that built Islands in a manner where true expansion was never a viable option.
As for Transformers, I think they're going to sit on that one. As Robert mentioned in the first response, the technology is basically Spider-Man 3.0. Just as Disney balks at adding Indiana Jones at DHS because of Dinosaur, Universal will balk at putting in two rides with such incredibly similar ride systems next-door to each other. They'll sit on it until they're good and ready to let Disney have the Marvel brand and they'll be able to make a faster conversion thanks to the current HD upgrades.
Going back to the train going through the backlot, I have to ask why that's a problem. What's getting filmed nowadays at USF that would really be disrupted by a train passing through? Now, I don't think we're talking about a train like at MK, with steam and loud whistles and all that. If I was planning this (and thank goodness I'm not), I'd make the train its own E-ticket attraction. It won't be a real train, of course. It's a ride vehicle. You don't have to worry about what it looks like backstage because there aren't any windows - all the "windows" will be HD monitors synchronized to show our journey from whatever will be at USF over to Hogsmeade at IOA. Yes, in my entirely made up version of the entirely made up train, the whole thing is nothing more than a modified next-gen version of the old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride. Onboard, you'll think you're traveling through tunnels and over bridges and it's all magical and OY watch out for those Dementors. Outside, you're in a slow moving vehicle chugging past an employee parking lot and a building holding Halloween Horror Nights props.
So to sum up for those of you who skimmed this (and why on earth wouldn't you skim this? What are you, some sort of masochist?):
1. Jaws had to go. Lack of interest trumps history.2. I think the Harry Potter rumor is true.3. I think Transformers will eventually replace Spidey.4. I should never be allowed to design attractions.
I would be perfectly happy being completely and utterly wrong about 2 and 3 (feel free to debate my points, preferably with a better argument than "but I want this"). Ultimately, though, I think the temptation to double dip the Harry Potter crowd is going to prove too strong (hey, it worked for the WB with those last two movies, didn't it?).
EDITED TO ADD - I actually really like Aaron's suggestion about making a Dreamworks area to rival Disney's Pixar area (actually, I couldn't care less about Kung Fu Panda or Madagascar, but if a How to Train Your Dragon area was in the works I'd drive down and help them disassemble sharks next week). But would that become animation overkill when combined with Shrek and Despicable Me? I know it's silly for me to say that would be overkill when I just finished making an argument for two Harry Potter areas, but I think the Potter argument is overkill-proof because of the almighty dollar.
1. JK Rowling has complete creative control and veto power over Potterland and I don't think she'd be crazy over a new section in a different park in between MIB and San Fransisco. She also is able to terminate the contract after 10 years for whatever reason mean universal would be really hedging their bets risking re theming two large areas in two parks.
2. There's plenty of stuff to bulldoze next to the existing WWOHP for phase 2: Sinbad, the employee parking lot, several sound stages that lay vacated most of the year. That would be much more cost effective and sensible than using Jaws.
So glad I did a day there last month and rode Jaws.
There's been a lot of major news recently, I hope what they announce isn't going to be disappointing.
Mad decision if you ask me. Last time I was in Orlando in Sept/Oct 2009, the ride was still hugely popular and we had a 30 minute-ish wait on a weekday whereas Twister had about 10 people in it when we got around to that later in the day.
Seriously the Jaws ride IS Universal Studios. Ask anyone about Universal Studios and even the people who've never been will mention Jaws. And it's an actual Universal property as well. Once it goes, what are Universal left with that is actually from one of their own films? The Mummy Ride, for a studio park thats pretty poor showing. All the other attractions will belong to someone else!
Whatever is planned to replace it had better be bloody good.
Now this is just what the rumors are from a few people I know that work at various locations at USF and IOA. None of these individuals work for the creative department, so take this source with a grain of salt. I do think it is interesting that they all heard pretty much the same rumor.
Also I don't think that ioa and us thing will work out just keep the two parks separate i don't see any point in having one part of the studios potter if your gonna put potter there then just change the whole park jaws becomes I don't know a tour of the mermanlake in hpgof twister becomes wizard training rip ride becomes gringots shrek becomes I will leave it at that
As for what to replace it with, does it actually "touch" IOA? I am trying to see if maybe they give the land to IOA for Harry Potter land. I am having a hard time imagining the setup there. I would be more interested in seeing how large the attraction actually was.
Than again, Universal could change their mind.
I also miss the Alfred Hitchcock. They could have kept most of that as a walk through museum type piece.
I like HP just fine, but does it need to take over everything? Awful.