Universal Orlando closes its Cinematic Spectacular nighttime show

October 10, 2017, 11:00 AM · Universal Studios Florida's nighttime show, Universal's Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories, has closed permanently.

The show closed at the end of the summer season for its traditional fall downtime during Halloween Horror Nights and will not reopen. According to insiders, Hurricane Irma damaged some of the show's equipment, as it did the Academy of Villains stage next to the park's lagoon, which causes that performance to have to move to a temporary stage for the first few weeks of Halloween Horror Nights.

Universal's Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories debuted in 2012 to celebrate Universal Studios' 100th anniversary, so the "news hook" for the show, if you will, has long passed. The show lay mired near the bottom of our reader reviews for the park, so it seems that the public agreed with Universal that it was time for a change.

A new nighttime show will debut on the lagoon at some point. From Universal's press release:

A new nighttime lagoon show is coming to Universal Studios Florida that will include new animation featuring characters from favorite Universal attractions, a new storyline, new music, lighting and special effects. It will take Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories, which is now closed, to an entirely new level. This is one of many new experiences coming to Universal Orlando as we continue to grow our destination. Stay tuned to the Universal Orlando blog for updates – more details will be released soon.

In the meantime, Universal Orlando visitors can watch a new, holiday-themed nighttime show this fall when a new projection light show debuts on Hogwarts Castle in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter on Nov. 18.

Universal Studios Florida this week also closed its Terminator 2 3D show, to make way for another as-yet-unannounced replacement, featuring a Universal franchise.

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Replies (15)

October 10, 2017 at 11:32 AM · The show was boring on YouTube. It's like an Academy Awards clips segment that lasts 20 minutes. Let's hope for something better.
October 10, 2017 at 11:48 AM · No tears shed here, though I don't know what Universal will do that's any better given the viewing limitations of the park (IOA always seemed like a better place for a nighttime show over the central lagoon that can be viewed from virtually anywhere, ala EPCOT). I always viewed this show as a "name that movie" game to make it more interesting, because it really was nothing more than those annoying movie studio ads that auto-play on your DVD/Blu-Ray that you can't skip past. There was very little rhyme or reason to Cinematic Spectacular aside from pushing Universal's movies, no story, no gimmick, just a bunch of movie clips arranged by genre with some scattered effects and fireworks.

I just don't know what Universal can do with this, or even what type of show will really appeal to their theme park audience. It's clear the HP Hogwarts show was pretty popular in USH, but IOA's WWoHP isn't really designed to allow a similar show to be viewed by the masses. I think USF would be better served with a nighttime parade to keep crowds through closing instead of trying to come up with a new fireworks show wedged into the limited waterfront area.

October 10, 2017 at 1:56 PM · Who remembers universal 360?

11 years ago I took this video


History ??

October 10, 2017 at 4:47 PM · How hard is it to do a nighttime show - few characters from your stable, fireworks - bit of a storyline, ala Fantasmic and hey presto
October 10, 2017 at 4:48 PM · Boring show. Love Universal, but not that show. I always leave before it, not worth sticking around for it. Also, couldn't they have al least a couple fireworks? Guess we'll have to wait and see. Very curious about what's to come.
October 10, 2017 at 5:49 PM · I must have been the only person alive who enjoyed the show. However, as far as nighttime entertainment goes in Orlando, it was defined the bottom of the barrel. The main problem was the opening of the Hogwarts Express as well as the closure of Disaster reduced the firework count by 1/3. Not to mention that the fountains never matched the scale of World of Color. Universal would be better off by taking a page out of Disney’s book and making a new show that focuses on their animated flicks like Minions, Pets, and Sing.
October 10, 2017 at 8:42 PM · I find it interesting that the press release mentioned characters from Universal attractions. Not movies, attractions. That could allow Universal to take this new production in a different direction than the Disney shows. But, yeah, the tech needs to come closer to Disney's standards, too.
October 10, 2017 at 8:55 PM · I personally loved the show. Sad to see it go but hopefully it'll be replaced by something bigger and better
October 10, 2017 at 9:24 PM · I actually liked the nighttime show. It is kind of sad to see that it was put into a (maybe) early retirement because of the hurricane.
October 10, 2017 at 11:55 PM · I've always heard that that they can't do big Firework displays ,because of the location surrounded by apartments . Anyone know if this is true ?
October 11, 2017 at 5:36 AM · I'm with James, I also enjoyed the show. The water screens were quite cool, and the multiple screens were a clever way to allow viewing from multiple locations. Morgan Freeman's voice added a bit of drama and weight to the show. And who doesn't get goosebumps at the end when E.T. makes the bikes fly?

I'll agree that some of the clips were probably outdated to young audiences, even if many of them were classics. It'll be neat to see what they come up with for the new show. Universal has been using top notch tech for everything post the creation of HP, so I wouldn't be surprised if they go over an above everything Disney is doing for nighttime shows.

October 11, 2017 at 9:46 AM · I personally think Universal Studios should remove the area across from The old Cafe Labamba to allow them to expand the lake and allow them to create a bigger, better nighttime show in the future.
October 11, 2017 at 3:19 PM · Now that DreamWorks Animation is part of their IP portfolio, I would not be surprised if Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, How to Train your Dragon, etc is incorporated into the new nighttime show
October 11, 2017 at 11:37 PM · We never saw the show. Sounds like we didn't miss much...
October 13, 2017 at 7:25 AM · I don't like any nighttime show with movie clips. Not this one, not the Star Wars one or any other show featuring clips from a movie. If I want to see that movie I go and watch the blu-ray and no pimping up those clips will make me like it better. I come to a theme park to experience something I can't get at home. Uniquely made for the parks clips, yes please.

I did like the stunt show Universal once had on the lake. It even was cool to see it multiple times because depending where you stood something different went on.

I hope the new one is worth it. I hope they get rid of the ugly water screens. Although the projection works best on those screens I don't like how they look during the day.

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