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Fixing Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood: Kevin Baxter takes on the difficult question of how to bring Universal Studios Hollywood up to Universal Orlando's level... given USH's lack of space for expansion.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 3, 2002 at 11:09 AM
I warned everybody that I was going to come up with some ideas for fixing USH. Well, I put together an aerial photo of the park so it would be easier to figure out. Click here.

USH presents a unique problem. Unlike DCA, there isn't loads of space for expansion. Yet, I did find several places for new attractions, as well as tweaking current attractions.

Tell me what you think. What sounds good? What would be better?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Robert Niles
Posted November 3, 2002 at 11:23 AM
I agree that the Ampitheater needs to go. I know it brings in crowds, but Universal would make more money in the long haul using that space to make USH a top-flight destination theme park, with "repeat appeal" for locals.

Seuss Landing would do that, and provide a reason for families to visit this otherwise family-unfriendly theme park.

Beyond that, I can't emphasize enough how badly USH needs Men in Black. No one in Southern California has opened a shoot-'em-up ride. The first theme park to do that will *own* this market for at least its first season.

If Universal put in Shrek (done deal), replaced E.T. with Men in Black, rethemed Back to the Future as the Fast and the Furious and built Seuss Island (with a working Sylvester McMonkey McBean or a Lorax dark ride) on the site of the Ampitheater, it would destroy California Adventure's attendance, cripple Magic Mountain and take quite a few tourists away from Anaheim.

From JUSTIN ST. MARIE
Posted November 3, 2002 at 2:36 PM
I think your turning USH into IOA. I also think the only way to fix USH is simply to save enough money and buy land around the park. Universal really needs to start making there studios park completely different from the others. One Idea I would have is to take a Spiderman type ride and theme it after the new Incredible Hulk movie, or maybe make a incredible new Matrixs ride. It would also be cool to take the twister theme and make a ride using the Indiana Jones cars with a tornado chasing you. I think if USH had attraction that no other park in the world had it would make it a very good park.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 3, 2002 at 6:03 PM
I may be taking themes from IOA, but I am making sure that the attractions are different. Why should USH ignore two extremely popular licenses (Marvel and Dr Seuss), especially when those licenses are more popular than many of the characters that roam the Disney parks?

As for buying land. THERE IS NONE! If it were that simple, then we wouldn't be worrying about getting rid of ET or the Amphitheatre. As much money as USH makes, it doesn't make nearly the amount that is saved by being able to film on the surrounding property.

From Anonymous
Posted November 3, 2002 at 7:40 PM
Um, one big flaw with your plans: Universal doesn't actually own the amphitheatre.

From Reid Loveland
Posted November 4, 2002 at 6:31 AM
Then who does own it?

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 4, 2002 at 6:37 AM
Whether they do or don't... they sure as you-know-what own the land it sits on.

From Coaster Enthusiast
Posted November 4, 2002 at 10:52 AM
I had visited USH before the advent of video monitors on the Tram Tour. ... From what I hear, it was MUCH more informative and entertaining. The first day I visited we travelled down the Blvd. (later) used for Gremlins, however, the following day, that was closed off due to filming schedule ... it was exciting to know I travelled a road being used in a future film!

As The Six Million Dollar Man and Battlestar Gallactica were popular at the time, there were attractions revolving around those features (as well as Jaws, Psycho, et al).

From JP parking Guy
Posted November 4, 2002 at 11:02 AM
Kevin, I like your ideas. Since this is where I work as a lonely parking attendent. I have some things to say. BtTF will stay and will never be replaced. Also let me thrown in a plug for the DVD is coming out in a couple off weeks. I like your lower lot ideas, except I'm not really big on Posedians Fury it is one of my least favorite attractions at IOA. I think this is where we will something form the Hulk or Cat in the HAt. Yes Universal will evently get rid of the theatre. Good Upper lot IDEAS! They Rock

From Anthony X
Posted November 4, 2002 at 4:54 PM
kevin, u are a theme park god. sometimes i think u single-handedly know more than all the idiots working at universal that created this stupid park.

From Anonymous
Posted November 4, 2002 at 5:05 PM
Maybe they should consider working the Spiderman ride in somewhere. That has to be the best ride on the planet and tons of folks on the West Coast have not experienced it. I cannot picture the UA ever leaving since they also use it for many awards shows.

From UO Insider
Posted November 4, 2002 at 6:49 PM
As for the person up there wh said they should replace "Back to the Future" with "The Fast and the Furious".... ARE YOU F***ING RETARDED??? Universal would never drop BTTF; it's too popular. And even though F&TF made a lot of money... i don't think a ride about illegal street racing would make families happy.

From Mr. D. T.
Posted November 4, 2002 at 9:08 PM
I looked at the size of the ET pavilion -- it's no bigger than Orlando's MIB pavilion. Plus, this is the original ET ride, while the USF one is a mere knockoff.

From L C
Posted November 4, 2002 at 9:49 PM
Kevin, I think most of your ideas are excellent. I definitely support your arguments for more extensive theming... the myriad of themes around each lot just end so abruptly. I'm not sure I totally agree with cutting all the "shortcut" paths, but at least you did keep one. Also, I'm unsure about new attractions having "places to eat built into them." USH struggles with garbage-filled attractions as it is; I fear this might only worsen the food-related trash. Just a concern.
Also, I would suggest USH turn down the music and expand the playlists. Their music loop is much too short if you're spending several hours at a time in the park, and who doesn't?

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 5, 2002 at 2:38 AM
LC, great topic. We heard some of the same frickin' songs so many times! UGH! What I meant about the restaurants being built into new attractions... I meant that it would be easy to build counter restaurants into the sides of them. BUT, that doesn't mean that it couldn't be fun to eat in the middle of MIB headquarters or something like that. I forgot to put that restaurants could always be built ON TOP of attractions too. Much more fun up there than in the flow of traffic, right?

JP, I am only a mild fan of Poseidon, but I think one of its main problems is the hokey script. I only plugged it into my plan as an example of how they could semi-clone an Orlando attraction and make it new. I think it could be exciting with the X-Men, if it was done PROPERLY. Personally, I would kinda like to see them tinker with Spidey and turn that into an X-Men version instead. I just do NOT want to see that ride cloned here. But I am just not positive that a different theme here would still allow Spidey to be special.

Anthony X, thanks, but I don't think the people who created it are idiots. Unlike most parks, this one wasn't born, but grew into a park. Shows were the main thing here, so by the time they started creating rides, there just wasn't a lot of decent space for them. Remember, some of these "idiots" created USF also, and that park has been planned out very well.

UO Insider... umm... you need a reading tutor. I'm not sure Robert was saying BTTF should be completely replaced or agreeing with my idea of just replacing one side. If you read other threads on here that talk about BTTF, you will see that it isn't all THAT popular anymore. But I chose to replace one side and to keep BTTF on the other. If that happened, USH could really see how popular BTTF is or isn't. Then they could film a new movie for it!

Oh, and I did a little research. Seagram DID sell Universal Concerts in 1999 to House of Blues Entertainment. Seagram owned 20 venues at the time and sold 19 of them outright. Guess which one they didn't sell. HOB leases the Amphitheatre, but I couldn't find out when the lease is up. Since Universal apparently only makes money from concertgoers when they park or eat, I don't see the need to retain the Amphitheatre after the lease.

From Anonymous
Posted November 5, 2002 at 11:30 AM
For anyone that cares, and for accuracy's sake, E.T. Adventure opened at USF in Orlando in 1990; The USH attraction was opened a couple of years later...

From Anonymous
Posted November 5, 2002 at 3:01 PM
Kevin,
you got great ideas for making space for new rides and i am impressed with your ideas for some of the new attractions, but we must keep in mind that this park is to focuss on movies. Therefore, I'm not to sure some of your ideas (Lorax ride) would fit in with the general theme of the park unless a movie was to be made of the ideas. (hey who knows, maybe after universal is done with the cat in the hat, they'll get to work on a lorax movie. We can only hope!)

From Ben Mills
Posted November 6, 2002 at 12:48 AM
One word for you-okay, I've forgotten her name. You know, the comedian they made the attraction after. She didnt make a film did she? Well she probably did. Go on, spoil all my fun.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 6, 2002 at 2:21 AM
Yeah, I guess you are right with The Lorax ride. But then again, a cartoon was made from the book, so that would work, really. Nickelodeon and the Wild Thornberrys aren't movies either. So I am going to stick with it! Mainly because I think three attractions could fit into that area and I'd rather have a dark ride than a show.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 6, 2002 at 5:00 PM
Okay, guys. Since some of you seem interested in some of these ideas, I have posted a few at Rate the Rumors Maybe we can show Universal which ideas are the ones they should get started on NOW.

From Anonymous
Posted November 6, 2002 at 5:39 PM
I'm afraid your ideas are good ideas, but simply not feasible.
First, the Amphitheatre. When the lease is up, somebody else will pay money for it. It has been used for awards shows, musicals, comedians... even the Lew Wasserman memorial service was held there, with speakers like Steven Spielberg and Bill Clinton. It's an important venue to the East San Fernando Valley, and its positioning near the shops and restaurants of CityWalk makes good financial sense. If Universal can lease the theatre to somebody else and earn money without making any effort, you can be sure they will.
I also can't understand the time and money spent on moving Spider-Man Rocks from its current venue anywhere else. Shows are not moved like that. In this awful economy, do you think Universal would pay to tear out Spidey from the Castle Theatre, than pay to have everything installed in a Studio Center building, and THEN pay to install something else in the Castle Theatre? Does that sound efficient? Just for the sake of "theming," which has no cash value? Personally, I'd prefer world-class rides amidst generic restaurants to poor rides with perfectly-themed restaurants. Wouldn't you?
WaterWorld also isn't going to change. It is often the highest-rated attraction in the park, based on guest surveys. It is considered the greatest live show in region, and is marked "Must See" on park maps and digital directories. USH has no compelling reason to change it.
Studio Guides are instructed to turn the DVD screens off when entering Kong, Jaws, EQ, etc. If your guide didn't... was it peak time? Some new hires forget some of the smaller nuances in their first weeks. But on the whole, most guests think the DVD is a great enhancement; video clips transcend all language barriers; Universal uses it to promote its films, video library and even its musical artists.
Getting rid of the Lucy museum is a matter of dealing with the Ball/Arnaz family, which I'm sure is a delicate matter. Even if it goes, it's really quite small and is squashed between the Backdraft queues and a restaurant, so I'm not sure what would be gained.
Hulk effects will be coming to the Special Effects Stages in 2003. The Stages were designed to make it easier to trade older films for new.
We're all hoping for a cool stunt show in the Wild West theater.
And as for building on surrounding land... it's not a matter of money. It's a matter of building codes, development, environmental impact, and a powerful neighborhood organization that opposes any kind of expansion. A concerted effort was made in '98 to open an entire new park on surrounding land, and it failed. It may never happen.
But everything else you said, I agree with.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 6, 2002 at 10:55 PM
If the Blackstone Group buys a larger share of USH, which it probably will, THEY will have the say in whether the Amphitheatre stays or goes. And how much money can it possibly make if Seagram was so willing to sell ALL of their venues and lease this one? If Universal created a new land there, like Dr Seuss, they could sell LOADS of souvenirs and increase Annual Pass sales. Would however much the lease is worth be more than the millions a new major attraction could bring in? Doubtful. And those new guests would be heading into CityWalk just like concertgoers do. Plus, I have heard from someone who should know that this is definitely on the horizon.

How much do you think it costs to move a show? Broadway shows go on tour and they are usually more elaborate than the Spidey show is. Of course it wouldn't be worth it unless it moved to a themed area. And claiming that theming has "no cash value" shows that you have absolutely no understanding of what keeps Disneyland going. You didn't think it was all those new attractions, did you? Read the posts on TPI. People complain about the haphazard theming all the time. And people who complain are less likely to buy Annual Passes, aren't they?

I never said that the guide had the screens on during the attraction portions of the ride. They were on as we visited the sets. THAT is irritating. And I don't know who has said they are an improvement. I haven't heard that ONCE yet. And seeing that hodgepodge of poorly edited film clips would not encourage me to buy any of the films featured. In fact, I walked away with far less regard for them. So it is important for them to get this RIGHT.

From Anonymous
Posted November 7, 2002 at 7:25 PM
Kevin,

Not that it will make a significant impact on Universal's US parks, but the one of a kind feel of IOA's Spiderman will go away in 2004. Universal Studios Japan is currently constructing the identical attraction into their New York area (basically where Kong was at USF).

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 8, 2002 at 2:28 AM
I don't really care whether the foreign parks get clones. Few of us go there, so they will affect few of us. But we have a different case in the US. Although Easterners don't tend to visit Disneyland much, and we Westerners don't get to Orlando often, there is a big area of people between us that can get to both places fairly easy. It is THESE people that clones affect the most. Too many clones and they will simply choose one coast and ignore the other. Not good business.

From Anonymous
Posted November 8, 2002 at 8:12 PM
A few comments:
--As previous posters have noted, Universal does not own the Amp. Seagram also no longer owns Universal. Universal not only gets a lease fee and a licensing fee from the lease to HOB, but it also contracts to hold events like movie premieres and awards shows in there. Add parking and additional CityWalk revenue from concert-goers, and you have a major moneymaker.

--USH cannot install a large outdoor coaster because the noise would interfere with backlot filming. When USH wanted to expand the park to the New Falls area (JP3 sets), nearby homeowners protested and actually got an injunction against the park. An outdoor coaster is not going to happen.

--Re: your comments on the tour. This may not have occurred to you, but there are any number of factors which determine which clips the guides play, when they get played, and why they don't. For instance, the Apollo 13 clip at the backdrop often gets skipped because there's no tram in the Mummy, but another tram is close behind--the tram cannot delay going into the Mummy to avoid a backup. Similarly, trams cannot stop in front of the bridge and play videos--it would cause too much of a backup. Conversely, guides/tram drivers will often know that, say, there is a delay going into Earthquake; so the driver will go very slowly in hopes of avoiding the back-up--and thus the guide plays a lot of clips.

Clapping contests between the cars? Uh, no. Aside from the fact that such a thing is cheesy, there are actual rules about non-essential noise at the loading line, because the drivers and tour assistants (the people who load the trams) need to hear the loudspeakers.

Furthermore, certain luminaries have required that their clips be played on the tour--that's why you will always see the Brian Grazer clip on the front lot.

Anyway, I am a tour guide, so I could go on and on about the tour.

--Theming at the park sucks. On that I agree.

--And my number one idea for the park? Get rid of the carnival games. They're cheap, shoddy, ugly, and degrade the entire park. Why would you pay $45 a head for games you could play at Chuck E. Cheese?

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 9, 2002 at 3:12 AM
Personally, I would tell the "luminaries" who want their clips played to bite me! If they want to stroke their egos then they should offer to buy a controlling portion of the park.

And I have absolutely no problem with clips being played during down time. We waited for many minutes before the boring "Red Sea" portion. We watched the Paul Newman and Tom Hanks clips. What LAME clips! If they were comprehensive clips, then they would be fine. But they are Universal clips, obviously, and seeing a bunch of clips from three movies isn't all that thrilling. If they have time to waste, they can at least waste it with an ENTERTAINING clip. Put together a ten-minute clip of the biggest Universal movies and then chop it up into shorter clips for the tour. And add some actual information to the clips! Like the Anthony Perkins clip they used for the Psycho show.

You know, there are all kinds of places to build another amphitheatre. There aren't that many places to expand the park. The amphitheatre will go one day. There are currently places for new attractions. Once those fill up, then the Amphitheatre's days are numbered. It all depends on the deal Blackstone makes if they buy more than half of the park.

From Anonymous
Posted November 9, 2002 at 8:21 AM
Let's be realistic here. You can't tell luminaries to "bite you" for a number of reasons: First of all, they effectively control tram access on the lot. Secondly, Universal parks have a financial interest in Universal films, and vice versa. Third, Brian Grazer's films have probably grossed a billion dollars worldwide; and he's in partnership with Ron Howard, who I don't have to tell you is one of the most respected people on the lot and in all of Hollywood. No matter what the situation, you can't tell someone who is of that much value to the studio to "bite me."

As for clips, management is constantly changing the DVDs, and tour guides are given a great deal of discretion in deciding which clips to play (aside from a small number of mandatory clips, like the aforementioned Brian Grazer one). How many times have you taken the tour? We all wish that every popular film had a corresponding clip on the DVD--but there are intellectual property and copyright issues to deal with, and not every director/producer/movie star is amenable to his/her work being used as part of a theme park attraction. (See Jim Carrey, who didn't want "The Truman Show" used on the tour DVD.)

And, once again, the amphitheatre is not going anywhere. If you have proof to the contrary, I'd like to see it.

--The Anonymous Tour Guide

From Robert Niles
Posted November 9, 2002 at 12:50 PM
Okay, here's a hypothetical. Would it be possible to rebuild the ampitheater on another part of the property, then convert the existing ampitheater space into attractions?

My guess is it'd be more feasible to build a new ampitheater elsewhere on the property than it would to build a new park. Of course, that doesn't mean it could be done. We could be talking about which option is less impossible here. ;-)

Still, Universal's gotta find some way to expand in the market, unless it is content with USH dying a slow death.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 9, 2002 at 6:29 PM
Why wouldn't the Amphitheatre go anywhere? Vivendi is very close to asking Blackstone Group to buy controlling portions in ALL its theme parks. Would you buy more than 50% of USH if you had no control over the Amphitheatre? Of course not! Without that space, the park will be NOTHING in less than ten years. Anyone who has followed USH at all over the past few years can see where it is headed. And attendance isn't up this year because of Spider-Man Rocks. How many more years will they fool people into buying APs? Even if they only cost $50?

So Vivendi will either have to sell them the lease, or promise that the lease won't be renewed. No company could be foolish enough to buy a park with no plan for expansion.

As for the Tour, I did only ride it once. Because there was no way in HELL I was going to climb back on that travesty. I know from dozens of rides what the Tour CAN be. I also now know what it SHOULDN'T be. It doesn't take a dozen rides to figure that out.

From Anonymous
Posted November 9, 2002 at 7:11 PM
Kevin, did you even read my post regarding the tour? I mentioned that tour guides were allowed to exercise their own discretion as to which clips to play--so riding the tour ONCE, as you have, doesn't give you a full picture of the many and varied ways in which tour guides use the video clips. If you had been on the tour several times, you would have an idea that different guides have different styles, play different clips, tell different stories. No one wants a cookie-cutter tour.

Secondly, the Uni Amp is a separate corporate entity from USH. USH could be bought, sold, or traded on the black market, and the Amphitheatre could still be there doing business as usual.

And yes, attendance is down. However, I think USH will be just fine in the long run (even without your plans for it), simply because so many people want to experience the glamour and excitement of a real studio. Sadly, USH is as close as they'll ever get.


--T.A.T.G.

From Anonymous
Posted November 9, 2002 at 11:07 PM
Kevin, the first page of your "Fixing USH" project ends with "Tell me what you think. What sounds good? What would be better?"

And then you disagree with just about everything everyone else says. You even have a tour guide posting, and apparently someone else who works there (whoever wrote that big chunk of text without paragaph spaces) and you dimiss them with ridiculous exaggerations like "In 10 years the park will be NOTHING."

Why, Kevin? Because they're not going to move Spider-Man downstairs and tear out the Amphitheatre? In less than ONE year, they'll have Shrek 4-D, which might revitalize the park the way Spider-Man Rocks was supposed to. The park will be nothing in ten years? Do you think tourists from Nebraska will stop coming to Hollywood and riding the tram by 2012?

And one thing you seem obsessed about is the Amphitheatre. I will state this very clearly: USH and the Amphitheatre are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. TATG tried to pound this home, but you're not getting it. No matter who buys USH, or controlling interest in USH, the Amphitheatre does not come with the bargain.

For that matter, USH could completely close down, and the Amphitheatre would continue operating, with CityWalk still around to take in the dining and shopping dollars (you do understand that USH and CityWalk are two different entities, don't you?)

It's fun to take a map of the park, put colors and numbers on it, and make up your own attractions. Other TPI folks have invented whole theme parks, like the Classic Monsters Park.

But you have to have an understanding of what is physically possible and financially sound. For example, I'm sure people want an outdoor coaster, but they CANNOT HAVE IT. TATG pretty much explained that.

I think you should be more open-minded to people's responses, especially from insiders, or else go play Sim Theme Park and take your petulance with you.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 10, 2002 at 3:55 AM
Let's see, the first person to have alternate suggestions was Justin. His complaint was that I was turning USH into IOA. All I did was point out that I was borrowing IOA themes while keeping the attractions different. That is called "clarifying." His other suggestion was to expand outward, which has been agreed will not happen. His attractions suggestions were fine and I didn't carp on them, did I?

Then we had two people, one a PARK EMPLOYEE, talking about BTTF being replaced. I never suggested they replace it. I suggested they replace ONE SIDE of it. It was Robert who suggested the replacement. So another CLARIFICATION. And that park employee, JP Parking Guy, questioned my inclusion of a Poseidon-like attraction. I admitted I wasn't overly fond of the show, but believed it could possibly work with a new script. So that was another CLARIFICATION.

Then LC questioned my suggestion of building food places into new attractions. Another CLARIFICATION followed. Plus, I gave LC kudos for bringing up another subject I missed.

An Anonymous later commented that my idea for a Lorax ride didn't fit with the movie theme of the park. And I ADMITTED I messed up on that one. Yes, I would still like to see it built, but it clearly isn't something I am fighting for.

Then we have my debate with the tour guide. So far that is the ONLY portion of this thread which I have outright disagreed with someone. But I guess it only takes one person to "disagree with just about everything everyone else says." You must be a math major!

I'm sorry but just because someone is a tour guide, it doesn't mean they know everything that will go on with the park in the future. I have a good inside source, someone higher than tour guide, who knew about Shrek long before it was revealed. This person has also informed me that ET is supposed to be disappearing next year and that the Amphitheatre will go in the near future. These are current plans. Doesn't mean they won't happen, but from recent history (which include plans for rehabs which haven't been revealed yet either) I would bet they will. It's not like I'm operating in a vacuum here.

As for more of the points that you TWO seem to not be getting. I KNOW the Amphitheatre and USH are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. Which is why I kept talking about the lease and not the Amphitheatre. But if we get down to simple business operations, the Amphitheatre building belongs to Universal. The land it sits on belongs to Universal. All HOB owns is a piece of paper allowing them to hold events inside that UNIVERSAL building on UNIVERSAL property.

I also believe I mentioned that IF Blackstone bought controlling interest in the park, they will do it with some sort of agreement regarding that lease. Yes, Vivendi would only be selling interest in the PARK, but do you think Blackstone will happily pay a billion or so for a park that has virtually no ability to expand WITHOUT the land the Amphitheatre sits on? Do you think Vivendi, way over there in France, is worried about what happens to the Amphitheatre? All they probably see is a piece of paper worth a few millions and a company willing to pay HUNDREDS of millions. USH has NO choice in this matter. This is a big game of Monopoly being played by Vivendi and Blackstone and many others and the Amphitheatre and the park are just properties. And the lease is barely a Utility.

Then you have the nerve to say that I am not listening. Yeah, cuz TATG is listening really well. I call the movie clips "lame" and "poorly edited" and TATG claims that the clips are up to a tour guide's discretion. The tour guide could play every one of them, they would still suck. I don't care how nicely piles of crap are distributed, THEY ARE STILL PILES OF CRAP!

Also, I never ONCE said they should build an OUTDOOR coaster. Yet you two (unless you are the same person on another computer) seem to have attributed that myth to me. I suggested the Grinch Coaster, which, from what I hear, is basically a Matterhorn-type coaster. That is mostly indoors. And does anyone on the planet think the Matterhorn is loud? Coasters CAN be created with a minimum of sound, you know. Furthermore, I would NEVER suggest an outdoor coaster for this park, especially not when I keep bitching about the horrid theming. So maybe you should ask me to CLARIFY before you ASSume to understand what I am saying.

As for the park being dead in ten years. I never suggested it wouldn't exist. But it sure wouldn't be Universal's jewel park, would it? Just how well was it doing last year before the super-cheap APs were sold? Worse than DCA! T2: 3-D premiered in mid-1999 and the park barely equaled the year before, where they lost 5%. 2000, which should have seen a huge increase from a new major attraction only saw a 2% increase, which disappeared in 2001. So the park has already started its death rattle if something doesn't get done. Something DRASTIC. Something like getting rid of the Amphitheatre.

Let's crunch some numbers. The Amphitheatre holds just over 6000 people. It seems it features about 4 shows a week. 4 x 6000 = 24K. Multiply that by 52 weeks and you have one and a quarter million people. Notice I generously gave every event sold-out attendance, which we all know doesn't happen. So we will make it easy and say the Amphitheatre brings in an extra million potential customers into CityWalk every year. How many people do you think a roller coaster, a Men in Black or a Spider-Man would bring in a year? Most likely not a million, but considering a new coaster at Magic Mountain brings in a couple hundred thousand, 500K is not out of the question. Now those people are not only going to wander through CityWalk, but they are actually PAYING to get into the park, EATING in the park more than once and BUYING SOUVENIRS in the park. How much does Universal make off the two or three hours the concert-goers are inside the Amphitheatre? How many times do they eat in that timeframe? What percentage of them actually eat in CityWalk? EVERYONE eats something in USH. So I don't buy the little "fact" that the lease would bring in more money than new attractions would.

But I guess I wouldn't know since I obviously haven't put anything more into this than some colored squares on a map.

From Robert Niles
Posted November 10, 2002 at 10:18 AM
Universal Studios Hollywood inspires so much passion (see: post above) because it has the potential to be the world's best theme park... and it isn't. And failed potential drives people *nuts.*

Here's my way of thinking about USH: The ultimate, immersive, interactive DVD experience. And yet, it's DVDs, I believe, that have made the USH experience, and the tram tour in particular, seem less "special."

DVDs have raised the bar for "behind the scenes" movie information. Someone once accurately called them "a film school in a box." Next to the directors' commentaries, extra scenes, storyboards and interactive features available on DVD, the movie clips shown on those tiny screens on the tram tour do disappoint. And it is movie geeks--the type of people who likely have a stack of DVDs at home--who are most passionate about an attraction like the tram tour.

So Universal can look at this one of two ways: a problem or an opportunity. I've described the problem. The opportunity comes from the fact that DVDs have created an even more insatiable desire for insider movie knowledge.

That's where USH can come in. But it has to find a way to keep its attractions fresh and informative, even to the DVD geek. *And* it has to make its experience much more immersive than it is now.

The extra land from the amphitheater would help. *Any* extra land would help. The bi-level construction and misshaped layout of the park puts it at a severe disadvantage for guest flow and crowd control. That's especially crucial for a park that must update constantly (due to its theme) and therefore, take areas of the park down for rehab on a regular basis.

I hope USH's employees are not offended by this thread. The passion that their park elicits is an *asset,* not a problem. It's far better for fans to argue about you, than ignore you and forget you exist.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 10, 2002 at 4:32 PM
If we didn't care, we wouldn't bother. No one writes about what Magic Mountain or Knotts needs, except "more coasters!" Look how this thread keeps going while my similar DCA thread has died!

Like Robert says, this park has the potential to be the best. Well, I honestly don't think it can ever be better than IOA due to its outdoor-coasterless future, but it can surely be better than USF. They have a real backlot here, which is frankly losing its importance with all the film-clip babysitting. Robert is EXACTLY right in his DVD commentary. Millions of people have gotten far more film-savvy since the emergence of DVD extras and, frankly, what little information we are given now is insulting. And not to be rude, but what a tour guide has to say about THIS is unimportant. Its what the TOURISTS say that is important, of which I am one.

It is the fact that they screwed with this, while doing so little in the rest of the park, that really irritates me. Is it just a coincidence that Blackstone Group owns 50% of UO and not of this park? There is a whole bunch that CAN be done. I suggested a few things. Others can suggest alternate solutions. But I tried to solve problems that I know many guests are having since I actually LISTEN to what they are saying. Others should try it.

From Anonymous
Posted November 10, 2002 at 7:31 PM
Kevin, has this argument disintegrated into ad hominem attacks so soon? I guess you've resorted to that since you lack the facts to back up your arguments. Feel free to post links to prove your points instead of being rude. (And yes, your comments were indeed rude.)

Now, the reason I said that you can't possibly know how to fix the tour when you've only been on it once-- and there are close to 200 clips. As I've stated, guides can pretty much play what they want. Unless you've been on dozens of tours and seen *every* clip on the DVDs, you simply can't unequivocally state that all the clips suck. You wouldn't know! Guest survey data indicates that the video screens are actually pretty popular among tourists. Most people barely listen to the guide (as evidenced by the number of people ignoring the safety rules), but are transfixed by the movie screens. You also have to remember that the average tourist is not like you: most USH visitors hope to spot a movie star and get a good snapshot of Jaws, and are neither theme park nor movie buffs. Bear in mind, too, that the tour is continually being tweaked and adjusted to accommodate recent productions *and* guest feedback.

As for me being a tour guide... I know the tour better than anyone else currently posting to this discussion, and certainly better than you do, which obviously makes me more qualified than you to "fix" the tour. Furthermore, you should listen to me, and the other park employees posting here, because the greatest ride/theme park ideas in the world are useless if they're unfeasible for the employees and the company. (Kevin, would you like it if I came to your workplace ONCE, told you how to fix it, then said that my ideas were worth more because I'd been ONCE?) It’s as simple as that. For instance, you think guides should play clips going up to the Collapsing Bridge—I can tell you why (and I did tell you, in a previous post) that is absolutely impossible. You think guides should hold clapping contests between the cars--I told you why that's impossible. You think Universal should tell Brian Grazer, one of its biggest moneymakers, to "bite me." I told you why that is impossible. Who’s got the advantage here?

If you really want to get through to Universal management, Kevin, USH listens more closely to repeat visitors than to one-time guests. If you want to be taken quasi-seriously, get an annual pass.

As far as some of the points you make: I knew about Shrek over a year ago. Knowing about Shrek is not and never was an exclusive club, especially considering the huge construction fence announcing it has been standing for a number of months.

Two, the rumors about ET are nothing new. We've been hearing them for years.

Three: Here's a news flash! USH is opening something new in 2004! Go tell that to your "inside source."

Regarding the amphitheatre: Please post evidence that Blackstone is going to purchase a controlling interest in USH. Please post evidence that the amphitheatre is for sale. It seems you've based a tremendous amount of your argument on speculation. I will say that a new ride could bring in a lot of people; however, considering how long it would take to construct a new ride or new themed area, and that the amphitheater is a steady source of money, it’s a dangerous gamble. I doubt that Blackstone would buy anything until the SEC investigation is over, anyway.

As for numbers and statistics: There is a lot more to theme park attendance than what attractions are in the park. General economic conditions, the strength of the dollar compared to international currency, weather conditions, political situations, and numerous other factors come in to play. Personally, I think USH's biggest mistake is pricing itself the same as Disneyland, when Disney clearly offers a better value for the dollar in terms of number of attractions vs. cost of admission.

Finally, Kevin, while you think of me as a lowly tour guide, you should be aware that my current work situation at USH affords me a great deal of responsibility as well as access to a great deal of information. I’m not as low on the totem pole as you seem to think.

--T.A.T.G.

From JP parking Guy
Posted November 10, 2002 at 9:07 PM
U guys should both calm down. U both must be really into to politics too. Just take it from me, I work in parking so I know a lot more than u guys. Like the new "8 mile" ride that is coming in 2004.

From Anonymous
Posted November 10, 2002 at 9:13 PM
JP Parking Guy, don't forget the Schindler's List ride next to Backdraft! Ha!

--T.A.T.G.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 11, 2002 at 3:43 AM
What is it with people who can only be bothered to read whichever portions of posts they feel like reading???? I have no problem admitting I was rude, because the person right before me was rude. But I guess you conveniently ignored that since that post was in agreement with you. And I didn't care whether I was rude to you because you keep ignoring or rearranging things I am saying.

For example, I have used the word "IF" many times in regards to Blackstone. I didn't say "WHEN." But so far everything that Vivendi has "looked into" has become reality, so let's call that one playing the odds. Still, even IF Vivendi doesn't sell controlling interest, that little math problem I worked out still exists for WHOEVER runs USH. Like Robert said, and which was ALSO ignored, the Amphitheatre could be moved elsewhere. That is a win-win situation.

As for the clips. Well, out of the twenty (at least) that I saw, maybe three or four of them weren't awful. And I know some of them have to be used most of the time, like the John Wayne clip and the green-screen clip, and those two were both poorly done. If out of all those clips there are actually good ones, then the problem lies with poorly trained tour guides, which doesn't make the problem go away. Or that there are simply too many poorly done clips, which is more likely given how greatly those poorly-edited clips outnumbered the good ones. Why are there ANY bad clips at all? Why offer them to the tour guides? You cannot tell me that you think all the clips are good!

Furthermore, most tourists "are neither theme park nor movie buffs" is the EXACT problem with many of the current clips! Only movie buffs could truly be entertained by that John Wayne clip, since they could at least have the fun of naming the movies involved. The same with many other clips. Since so many have almost no informational value, they are nothing more than babysitters to anyone but true cinephiles. At the very least they could have titles alerting us to the films involved. Even the freakin' Academy Awards does that and most of us recognize clips from the movies they show clips from!

Also, your being a tour guide does not mean you necessarily know more than anyone here. Has every single person involved in the creation of the Studio Tour been a tour guide? Of course not. And you said they allegedly listen to visitor feedback to tweak it. So it is EXACTLY people like me who are deciding what may stay or go.

Then you go on to REPEAT things you said a while back (the collapsing bridge, clapping, Grazer)... things that I had accepted and did NOT debate you on, yet you climb up on your really high horse to hammer them home. I DO actually bother to read every word of every post, unlike some tour guides I can name.

And then you try to be all big and bad by thinking you know something about the new attraction in 2004 while I don't. I didn't say I mentioned ALL of what my source told me. I am simply waiting for enough information on some of these to post. A new attraction in 2004 is no news flash. WHAT attraction will be.

Finally, much of your arguing seems to ignore the little fact that the majority of USH's visitors ARE locals. Same as Disneyland, DCA, Knotts and Magic Mountain. So, although a lot of those things come into play with tourists, Magic Mountain proves year after year that if they build it, people will come. The park WILL see a bump this year and Shrek will most likely improve on that the following year. And the new big attraction in 2004 will most likely improve upon that. Not because of tourists. Because of locals. Especially because of AP holders. Like me! Oh wait, I guess I discovered another comment where you just ASSumed facts not in evidence. And you talk about me...

From Anonymous
Posted November 11, 2002 at 5:57 AM
While I have just stumbled into this little discussion, I would like to say hello to a fellow guide-I too will remain anon, got to keep the job ya know, but...tour guides in some cases are actually RUNNING THE PARK! In the past history of Universal, the presidents of park start out as.."Lowly Tour Guides".

And yes, we do know a heck of a lot more than the regular guest, we're just stuck in the situation that we just can't talk about some things, or we become suddenly unemployed!

T.A.T.G.-Remember, he has a source, you have better ones.

-Yet another tour guide

From Anonymous
Posted November 11, 2002 at 10:03 AM
Kevin, if you're going to talk about ignoring and re-arranging posts, take a look in the mirror. Even if you are reading my every word, it seems you're not understanding what I'm saying.

Why would I respond to another post that agrees with me? Nothing to say there.

You complain about the nature of the clips, but as I have stated, guest survey data indicates that the clips are immensely popular. Regardless of how you feel about them, they are here to stay. And how would you know which clips are required to be played, when you've only taken the tour once? TOUR GUIDES would know which clips are required. No, I personally don't think every clip is great, but other people are allowed to have different opinions.

Yes, I mentioned that visitor feedback is used to tweak the tour. I also mentioned that USH puts very little stock in the opinions of one-time visitors. Sorry to burst your bubble, but USH is not listening to people like you.
Wait, what's that? You have an annual pass? Why, so that you have credibility on the Internet when you've only been to the park in question once? Sorry, but that doesn't qualify you as an expert. Even if USH does survey you, your opinion puts you in the minority.

As for Blackstone/Vivendi, as I said, I'd like to see what the SEC has to say about Vivendi first.

And there is a problem in moving the amphitheatre--if you have to remove it because of lack of space, where are you going to put it? It stands to reason that a place named the UNIVERSAL AMPHITHEATRE should somehow be connected with UNIVERSAL STUDIOS and UNIVERSAL CITYWALK. I don't think moving a 6000 seat arena is practical.

Kevin, I'm calling your bluff: What's opening in 2004? Certainly I do not think I'm "all big and bad" by posting that a new attraction will open in 2004; I'm merely spreading the word. Isn't that what this website is all about? If you really do have such an important source, you'd know what's opening, because it's already been decided.

Also, Kevin, I'm going to repeat a question I asked in my last post that you didn't answer. What would you think if I went in to your workplace ONCE, told you how to fix everything, and when you objected, I said your opinion didn't count? That's neither fair nor reasonable.

I'm also going to repeat something else from a previous post since you obviously didn't understand it. You are making ad hominem attacks--and that's what people do when they lack facts or evidence or the skill to deconstruct an argument.

--T.A.T.G.

From Anonymous
Posted November 11, 2002 at 10:34 AM
Dear Yet Another Tour Guide,

Now I know why they make us sign confidentiality agreements.

--T.A.T.G.

From Anonymous
Posted November 11, 2002 at 11:02 AM
I absolutely disagree with you when you say that the clips are only meant for, or only entertaining to, "true cinephiles." That could not be further from the truth.

I think both this discussion's tour guides and our desperately back-pedaling host would agree that Universal never, ever, OVERestimates its guests. The clips -- really, the entire tour itself -- is meant as a broad introduction to filmmaking and movie trivia aimed at tourists who aren't involved with the movie industry.

Also, due in equal parts to Universal's sense of pride and the total lack of cooperation from other studios, the clips must feature only Universal films, which does limit what can appear in the montages. For example, New York Street appeared as London in the hugely successful Austin Powers 2, but New Line forbids USH from using any footage.

Kevin, 2 clips that I know of feature John Wayne. If you're referring to the general "Western action" montage, those clips are pretty much split between classics and lesser-known films. The better-known ones are "Destry Rides Again" and "Winchester '73", both of which star Jimmy Stewart.

The other one is a John Wayne-only montage. Unfortunately, almost none of these films is memorable -- "The War Wagon," "Pittsburgh," "Rooster Cogburn." This doesn't mean the clips are aimed at true cinephiles (or, let's face it, true Western film buffs). It means people like John Wayne, and Universal made a lot of John Wayne movies, but the Universal library contains only mediocre
John Wayne films.

But that's enough. Tourists see John Wayne, playing a cowboy, riding, shooting and saying pithy lines. Western music is playing, and the tram is driving along a Western street. Universal made only forgettable John Wayne movies, but the montage is a celebration of John Wayne the actor and the Western as a genre. The guests love it. Universal has basically turned a disadvantage into an advantage -- an admirable feat, since the studio can't go back in time and sign John Wayne to a lifetime contract.

You say the clips "have no informational value" and are just "babysitters to anyone but true cinephiles."

I say the clips bring the backlot to life, and help everyone, from children to foreign guests, see the connection between the current standing sets and their use in actual films. Guests at Universal can't see filming, and can't see stars, but they can look at the European streets and say to themselves, "Frankenstein's monster walked here."

And when Universal has good films to work with -- say, the montage of Ron Howard films, or Oscar-winning movies -- the combination of editing, content and music make for a pretty fantastic multimedia experience.

You want to be informed. Most people want to be entertained. I think the Universal Studio Tour, despite its flaws, does both.

Before you respond -- please, Kevin, for the sake of this entire discussion -- take the tour again. One bad tour guide, or one bad traffic stall, shouldn't color your entire perception of the tour and its future.

From Anonymous
Posted November 11, 2002 at 12:17 PM
T.A.T.G-

Even on the other coast we go through the same things...sigh.

From Robert Niles
Posted November 11, 2002 at 12:46 PM
I think we're getting on to something here (which will be obvious to the tour guides, but less so to the rest of us), which is, the tour's too inconsisent.

With a good guide, fortunate timing and available sets, the tour can be a wonderful experience. Get a poor guide, bad timing and closed sets... and it is nap time.

That shouldn't be. Ultimately, if Universal's to have the world-class park we want it to be, the tour must consistently provide top-quality information, insight and information. That doesn't mean each inidvidual tour must be th same. That's impossible. But the guides must have the flexibility, training, experience and options available to them to bring each tour to that level, no matter what's happening on the lot.

I don't see that now. Perhaps that goes to the issue of whether Universal wants, or is willing, to make USH the world-class park that its fans desire.

From Anonymous
Posted November 12, 2002 at 9:35 PM
How now, Kevin? Off taking the tour again?

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 13, 2002 at 4:20 AM
Can I not take a frappin' day off from the rampant idiocy??? :-)

I have no clue where I have started "back-pedaling." My stance that the Studio Tour sucks in its current inception still stands. And I don't know where this little fact that I have only ridden the Tour once has come about. I have ridden the tour DOZENS of times. I have ridden it once with the monitors. So that makes me completely unable to tell whether the Tour has improved or not? Can you steer the tram a little farther from logical? Someone out there who actually took the Tram Tour more than a decade ago, please tell me whether the new incarnation is better! Anyone? I doubt you will see many people climbing on that wagon because this attraction is NOWHERE NEAR ITS HEYDAY! Way back when there was VERY LITTLE in this park, yet out-of-town tourists made sure to check this out for the Tram Tour alone. Who would do that now?

And that is my point, which keeps getting ignored TIME AND TIME AGAIN. This is the SIGNATURE ATTRACTION in the park. Which means it should be the BEST ATTRACTION in the park. Is it? I don't care if you are a tour guide. This IS NOT the best attraction in the park. Currently it is only in the Top Five because there are so few top-quality attractions IN the park.

Robert is EXACTLY right in his post. The tour is inconsistent. Part of that inconsistency lies in too many piss-poor clips. NOWHERE did I say they should get rid of the clips. Yet ONCE AGAIN I am being accused of something I never said. (That must be my back-pedaling! I'm denying things I NEVER said!) All I suggested is that Universal make ALL the clips good. That shouldn't be too hard. Montages like these are little more than mini-trailers, which are created all the time! Universal just has the wrong people making them. Get the trailer-makers to make the clips. And then they need to use them properly. That will improve that portion of the ride immensely.

Better training for the tour guides is also a must, apparently. Our guide was actually good (though all "acting" should be permanently banned from the tour FOREVER... "You're not supposed to go over the old bridge. No! Don't!" Oh, please just drive us into the lake to stop the bad acting!) but it was the clips, or his choice of clips, that prevented us from enjoying the tour. Yes, US. I noticed the people in my section all paying more attention to the guide's face than to the clips. It seemed to me that the clips were simply a cue for many to look outside the tram. Furthermore, I found myself giving lots of little tidbits to my fellow riders, who were all far more fascinated by them than they were in the zillionth time we "checked in" on those zany passengers in the fourth car. And how did I know they would find these tidbits interesting? They were tidbits I learned ON the Tour when it was actually a great attraction!

Now for other tidbits: As for NOT responding to the person who agreed with you. WHIFF! Way to miss another point! My problem was with you calling ME rude, when the rudeness clearly started with the person before me who agreed with you. But if people agree with you, then they must NOT be rude, right? Don't go around pointing out certain behavior if you are unwilling to point it out in everyone. It weakens your argument.

While we are on the subject of arguing, don't throw around "ad hominem" incorrectly either. An ad hominem attack is one where the person COMPLETELY ignores what the argument is about and goes off on a tangent about what someone does with his mother. Or something to that effect. ;-) I believe my novelistic posts commented on PLENTY of your points. And that was what my alleged "ad hominem" attacks were about anyhow, that you two WEREN'T commenting on my points. For example, I say the clips themselves are poorly edited and I get stuff about guide decisions. Unless the guides edited them, they aren't to blame for a lot of those clips.

Another argument no-no: don't use the phrase "not feasible." Flying into the sun and living is "not feasible." Moving the Amphitheatre (which does NOT mean the entire building would be moved... sheesh!) or getting rid of it completely IS plenty feasible. It may not happen this year or even ten years from now, but it will NOT be there forever. That is a fact of both business and of nature.

As for USH not listening to me? Why not? I may have ridden it once post-monitor, but far more people have seen my complaints about the tour than almost any other single person who has ridden it this year. And this is coming from a person who any TPI regular would claim is a Universal geek! Even worse than me is Robert, who owns this site. Which THOUSANDS of people visit. Including MANY Universal execs. If they weren't interested in what people like us have to say, I guess they wouldn't register on the site then, would they?

As for the clips (yet again with the clips!) only being entertaining to cinephiles. Yes, I was wrong. I should have said to cinephiles and to tourists who don't see many movies each year. To many of us who have seen John Wayne shoot a gun a zillion times, they are NOT exciting clips. And we are once again going off on that tangent about "tourists" liking them. Locals are the majority in USH, guys, so don't play the dumb yokel card so often. I would dare say your average LA citizen isn't as impressed as a family from Utah.

But you basically REMADE a point that I made earlier. The clips AREN'T being used to bring the sets to life. I want to see the sets in the clips, which you surely can't do in the John Wayne clips. A perfect example where USH ALMOST gets it right is in the suburbia set. We see the houses and the signs for what shows they are featured in. Cool! And then we get to see a music video (with that damn Smashmouth song again! GO AWAY!) which shows us that suburbia set with a fresh coat of paint. Cool! Problem is, the music video has about five billion cuts in it so you never really get to see the neighborhood behind the rockers much. Another example of a good idea with poor execution.

As for Universal having good films to work with... like Ron Howard's. OMG! I had to laugh. Okay, I know that many people liked "A Beautiful Mind" but I found it to be just like most of his other films. Uninvolving. ("Pi" did the whole mad genius thing MUCH better.) And don't get me started on how Dr Seuss is spinning in his grave over "The Grinch."

Anyhow, now that I got that off my chest - why did he do that to my beloved Grinch? WHY??? - where did all this "lowly" tour guide crap come from? I never once said someone was less than someone else due to being a tour guide. The "non-rude" agreement guy claimed that I knew NOTHING because I wasn't a tour guide and I simply pointed out that I did know someone who worked for USH who was in a higher position than tour guide. On this site I am basically a journalist and a journalist doesn't have to work in a job to write about it, does he?

Furthermore, going down that work road. TATG's analogy about coming in to my workplace and telling me how it should be run doesn't work at all. My real job isn't entertainment-related. So you would actually have to learn a lot before you could say word one. Entertainment is a whole 'nother area. We ALL know a little something about entertainment. We have all been entertained in our lives. And we can all say what we liked about the entertainment and what we didn't. If we couldn't, then they sure wouldn't be asking guests what they thought of attractions, would they? Do we have to be directors to complain about Michael Bay's quick cuts? Do we have to be writers to complain about the moronic "Planet of the Apes" twist ending? Do we have to be actors to see what a poor actor Keanu Reeves is? Attractions like the Studio Tour are created FOR us to react to. Hopefully in a positive manner.

Which brings me to a question. What exactly are they asking the guests? Are they asking broad questions like "Did you like the monitors?" Are they getting detailed like "Did you like this clip? How about this other clip?" Or are they doing what they should and asking "Why did you like/dislike this clip."

You may not like my answers, but I am sure I have given far more detailed answers than most as to why certain clips are working and certain clips are not. I think the smartest thing that has been said in this entire thread was Robert saying, "the tour must consistently provide top-quality information, insight and information." Consistently? Apparently not. Information? Rarely. Insight? Hardly? Information? Wait, didn't you already say that, Robert? I'm sure you had another witty I-word there. How about "involvement?" Because that no longer exists either.

From Anonymous
Posted November 13, 2002 at 5:58 AM
Now, I am the one who said "lowly tour guide" and Kevin man, geez. Take a breather here. It's hard when you're a guide because people don't know what you do in precise terms. You have to make the show interesting for folks! Locals and non-locals alike.

As for the clips. Universal has to get permission for everything on the tour, so what they have as a selection is what they can use.

You say you're a journalist on this site. Great. You bring up some great points, as do the others here.

My own two cents. USH is a great park. They have things that they can improve upon, but they need to keep the unique stuff there, like backdraft, etc. I was saddened to hear of West's going, but they did update Animal Actors to Animal Planet, and they have Waterworld!

Write a letter to the company, let them know how you feel. You might just be surprised by the response.

T.A.T.G-As a fellow guide, hang in there. What you are saying is correct. And you gotta love those confindentiality agreements!

Yet Another Tour guide

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 13, 2002 at 6:16 AM
You know, I don't have a problem with posts when they are like yours, YATG. I do understand that those clips must be a pain, but I'm sure Spider-Man was also, and they sure didn't go halfway with those "clips."

Any regular to this site knows by now that I am perfectly fine with debating the merits or lack of merits on anything. But absolutes simply don't work. "NOT FEASIBLE" is an absolute that instantly renders everything before it meaningless. "Not likely" would have been a much better choice of words... I have heard it is VERY likely... but at least it wouldn't have been a complete and total rejection of everything I merely suggested. To use a phrase like that without proof, which is of course impossible at this juncture, shows a lack of imagination and that is ENTIRELY what this thread was supposed to be about.

I do happen to know stuff, like how the monitors may very well be the beginning of the end for the tour guides existence. I would hate to see you all go, so it is a bit odd that so many are fighting so hard for the things. The day when ALL we get are clips like these will be the last day the tram tour will hold any significance for many.

Oh... forgot one thing:
Mummy coaster

But it hasn't been greenlighted and it still hasn't been selected as THE proposal. There still seems to be some waffling going on. So I DIDN'T want to mention it until it got the green light. This ain't Screamscape, ya know.

From Anonymous
Posted November 13, 2002 at 10:29 AM
From MerriamWebster.com:

Main Entry: 1ad ho·mi·nem
Pronunciation: (')ad-'hä-m&-"nem, -n&m
Function: adjective
Etymology: New Latin, literally, to the person
Date: 1598
1 : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect
2 : marked by an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made

From Jason Herrera
Posted November 13, 2002 at 12:08 PM
This why we need a Blog Flume Q & A. People can meet in person and talk out their differences.

May also want to have some type of law enforcement there too. :-)

From Anonymous
Posted November 13, 2002 at 12:24 PM
From MerriamWebster.com:

Main Entry: fea·si·ble
Pronunciation: 'fE-z&-b&l
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English faisible, from Middle French, from fais-, stem of faire to make, do, from Latin facere -- more at DO
Date: 15th century
1 : capable of being done or carried out
2 : capable of being used or dealt with successfully : SUITABLE
3 : REASONABLE, LIKELY
synonym see POSSIBLE
- fea·si·bil·i·ty /"fE-z&-'bi-l&-tE/ noun
- fea·si·bly /'fE-z&-blE/ adverb

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