I am curious as to what has changed recently with Universal. The Orlando parks seemed basically unchanged for a long time, and now it seems there is never a time when something new is NOT being built. Is there just a lot more cash available for development, or is there just a new focus on parks that used to not be there? Why wait until now (2009 or so) to start putting in so much development to become a major competitor to Disney?
As for a hotel, why not make it more top end, so that when you pay, you get the all access room pass...the cheaper cabana just does early entry....and make the new one a great theme, like potter...lets do this guys!!!
They could do it one of a few ways:* have the hotel buildings be themed to the Beauxbatons and Durmstrung schools, with a pool that has the Durmstrung ship in it (with water slides) and the pool themed to a lake. One building could look all French like Beauxbaton and one building could be Nordic like Durmstrung. Since these places were never shown in the movies, Universal has a lot of leeway in their looks. It would be fun to be able to visit these other wizarding schools by staying in them as hotels. Maybe even have a third building based on Salem, the American Wizarding School. JK Rowling could have a ball coming up with lots of little details for a project like this that really expands what she wrote in the books.
* have the hotel look like Privet Drive, the Dursley's home. And every room could be a suite, complete with a cupboard under the stairs with a murphy bed in it.
* Azkaban -- a hotel themed to Azkaban prison. It would be more dreary and spooky than a regular hotel, but it could be fun for all the Potter fans.
If they built a Harry Potter themed hotel my kids would go nuts.
Last August I offered up a discussion thread titled "How Long Will Theme Parks Be Regarded as Viable Entertainment?"
I invest great hope in the "park as a platform" model. I truly hope that Diagon Alley at Universal Studios and Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom will achieve that approach to themed entertainment -- and SUBSTANTIALLY raise the bar.
But the "grab the rights to a pyrotechnic movie franchise and build a manic ride vehicle" approach has been done to death.
Again ... yawn.
As much as I like the Kong 360/3D and the Kongfrontation ride before it, no, I don't think we'll see a bunch of Kong fanboys/girls getting into this IP the way that they do for Potter, much of Disney's IP, and even The Simpsons (thanks to all the new food).
But if Universal delivers something along the lines of what it did for Transformers -- fun ride, engaging visuals, and enough narrative conflict to hold it all together -- it'll have another hit. Not a game-changing blockbuster, but a solid, respectable hit.
Do you think the the new hotel will offer Universal Express?
Are we discussing a major theme park attraction or the latest musical offering from Robin Thicke?
Basically the awesomeness of the new stuff is starting to really underline the cracks in the seams of the (otherwise still great) old stuff. Seems that for a fraction of the cost of a new attraction/land that numerous existing things could be plussed.
Better walk around characters would be another big improvement.
And although it does look like there are some strong new food options, they have GOT to step up their game on the quality of the counter service food.
I'm so glad that they've finally decided to offer at least one "value" resort (though have thought for years they should just but all the motels on Major Blvd, theme them and offer them as on-site, official Univerals" to allow more families to have a more immersive experience when they can't afford a $400 a night deluxe resort.
This may sound like griping. But it isn't. I love Universal and love how much effort they are putting into great new attractions. But what I'd really love is for them to spend just a pinch of that effort into other things that would improve the park experience as much or more than any single new ride (Potter, Kong or otherwise...)
They're doing a great job of balancing replacements and additions. We go to universal 3-4 times a year, and there is always something new each time.
Kind of a nice change of pace for Universal Creative, eh?
I imagine it will "play out" as a story where Universal guests will board a quiet ride through the jungle ... until something goes horribly wrong.Kind of a nice change of pace for Universal Creative, eh?
Disney imagineers don't do this too? Everyone used to do this but at least Universal/Comcast is bringing e ticket rides now almost every year. Rides that don't follow that scheme either. Your thinking of the Jungle Cruise.... that was created like what 50 years ago? People are showing up for the new things at universal too. If you build it they will come and they have since HP.
New hotels, restaurants, e ticket attractions, a water park, and plus rumors of another park? I'm seeing a change in Florida and sure does not have big round flappy ears on it either. You are one of the few that would yawn at this. I guess you don't want change but your previous threads seem to want change? I'm perplexed.
We'll see you later from the Universal Fan Club....
U N I..... I is for Imagination V E R.... R is for Real E ticket rides not a lame Mermaids ride... S A L.... L is for looking in the back mirror at the mouse who's coughing on everyone's dust. What's that spell kids? That spells a change in Florida.
And for the record earlier in the thread I expressed great hope that Universal's Diagon Alley and Disney's Avatar will successfully raise the bar using the "park-as-a-platform" approach.
I've no doubt that the Kong attraction will be exciting. I'm sure it will maintain the success that Universal orlando's model has been enjoying.
I'm just hoping that the medium (themed entertainment) will eventually find another course.
I Respond: Well at the risk of repeating myself and thus inviting thoughtful criticism from someone with your level of (ahem) insight ("the man with the same reply on everything so how creative is he") -- I am interested in the "park-as-a-platform" approach.
Area development. Sound, lights, landscaping. Live entertainment. Enhanced and dramatic environments for character greetings. Full interactivity. High density projections. Following a path and coming to a load platform -- without even knowing the you are standing in line for an attraction. Changing environments.
I look forward to Diagnon Alley. I have great hope that the immersive elements will set a standard for future themed entertainment development. I have the same faith in Disney's development of Pandora. My confidence in both projects has been expressed on this thread. Apparently you missed those comments, eh?
With Disney, I am REALLY excited for Pandora. I know people are down on the use of the IP in the park, and have mixed emotions on the film. To me, none of that matters. The potential this IP has, to truly blow the doors off of what people have seen before is immense. There has been so much evolution in theme parks creating immersive lands since HP 1.0 opened, that Pandora has the opportunity to be THE next generation, of the current next generation of theme park environments, much in the way Potter pushed things forward several years ago. When you take into account all that will have been learned from both HP lands, Carsland and New Fantasy Land, mixed in with Disney ingenuity as well as full implementation of next-gen tech. This could very well be the crown jewel of the whole resort. I just hope they don't cut any corners and cheap out on the experience. AK as well as fans of the WDW resort in general deserve something to truly crow about. I could also do with out the phased opening, ugh. I can see why it happened at New Fantasy Land, and I understand why they will do it in AK since they want to begin generating revenue on their huge investment asap, but there really is nothing quite like a true grand opening! It makes for a great show, it's good theater, and I think Walt ideally would have liked to do things that way when at all possible, being the showman he was.
Personal opinion aside, it also seems odd that Universal would choose to go this route with Jurassic World launching a new trilogy soon. It seems infinitely more marketable than Kong (no matter how awesome the attraction turns out to be).
"Blurred liiiiiiines ...."