Attraction With a Female Lead - When Will It Happen?

RFRees

Member
Dec 24, 2015
687
As of today, not a single Universal attraction has a female lead.

Feel free to point it out if I'm wrong, but as far as I'm aware, females are only secondary characters to male leads at all of the Universal attractions.

There's a few small exceptions:

  • Storm-force - Does Storm even speak on this? No one can reasonably count this.
  • Murder She Wrote - Closed for years, so no longer counts.
  • Many rides with females (Despicable Me, Fast and Furious, Forbidden Journey, etc.) - While females may play a strong role, none of these have a "lead female."
  • Potter 'shows' including Frog Choir, Triwizard Spirit Rally, Singing Sorceress, and Tales of Beedle the Bard - These shows are so small that you can hardly count these. Though, I do find it funny that all four of these have female leads... was this on purpose?
  • Jurassic Park - so... technically the dinosaurs are female. :p
  • HHN - As Shiekra38 pointed out, HHN has had female leads in the past years.
  • EDIT - Kong: I was counting Kong as the lead. but it's argued that "Kate" (the woman who appears in scene 1 and 2, but not in scene 3 or 4) is the "lead."

But, there are many male leads in all the major attractions: Shrek, Spider-Man, Hulk, The Mummy, Dr. Doom, Popeye, Dudley, Gringott's, Fallon, Poseidon, Barney, MIB, Curious George, Fievel, Woody... Even Evac (Transformers) is voiced by a man, and that's a character made up entirely for the ride, which could have easily been She-Vac instead (I'm kidding... sorta...). This also is true with (the now closed) Disaster attraction, which Universal made up a male character (director Kincaid, played by Christopher Walken), a part which could have went to a woman.

Disney doesn't seem to have this issue... at least not to the point that Universal does. Disney has Frozen, Cinderella's Castle, Little Mermaid.. and umm... ... I'm sure I'm missing some?... anyway...

I'm not asking for them to create a crap ride for the sake of it... there are plenty of IPs which have some potential:

  • Hello Kitty - Uni already has a partnership so this one seems easy
  • Bride of Frankenstein - Could have an attraction at Fantastic Worlds as part of their Monsters section
  • Betty Boop - Possible Toon Lagoon addition?
  • Pitch Perfect - I'm not a fan, but it was rumored at one point
  • Charlie's Angels - Reboot coming 2019 (Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures), franchise has good overall name recognition
  • Tomb Raider - Big name recognition, I think it'd be a fine stunt-show. But the last movie didn't do as well as they had hoped so might be less likely
Honorable mentions:
  • Alita: Battle Angel - Probably not since it's owned by Fox, which is being bought out by Disney
  • Ugly Dolls - Unlikely since Uni has enough first party CGI movies to choose from
  • 50 Shades - Just kidding
  • Ghost Busters - Considering this reboot tanked and the next movie is ignoring this one ever happened, I'd say this is highly unlikely
  • Lucy - Made by Uni, decent success (460 million worldwide), could potentially get a sequel... but overall doesn't seem likely
  • Hunger Games - No because it's too depressing (even though Terminator is as well), it's no longer relevant, and the theme park rights already went to Motiongate Dubai
Even films with male leads could potentially have a female lead for the attraction:
  • Poppy could be the lead in a Trolls attraction.
  • Peach's Castle could be an actual attraction at Fantastic Worlds.
  • MIB Alien Attack could get an update for the new MIB International movie (2019), replacing Will Smith with Tessa Thompson...
And if they make up a new character (such as Kincaid or Evac), maybe they could consider a female instead?


TLDR: My question is - when will the current trend at Universal be broken? What IP could break this trend?

Final side note:
I'm not trying to be a social justice warrior and I'm not saying Universal is intentionally doing anything wrong. If I were to guess, Universal just went with the most popular IPs and the ones which were easiest to translate into an attraction at Universal while not alienating any of their core audience. It just so happens that a majority of the media is male dominated... especially the media with action packed thrills you'd expect to find at Universal.

In addition, unfortunately our society feels that having a male lead is more gender neutral than a female lead. For example, SpongeBob is "for kids," but Disney Princesses are "for girls." This is not Universal's fault, and I can understand if Universal chooses to shy away from an IP like Hello Kitty for fear that it may alienate a portion of their audience. They have to do what's going to make them the most money, after all.
 
Last edited:

RFRees

Member
Dec 24, 2015
687
Storm Force Accelotron - also, Poseidon may have a female lead depending on who's working the show.
I mentioned Storm Force in my "exceptions" portion: "Storm-force - Does Storm even speak on this? No one can reasonably count this." We can agree to disagree on this I guess. :p

I didn't know Poseidon could have a female lead?.. That's... interesting.

Halloween Horror Nights has had several female icons
I'll add it to my "small exceptions" portion. Point still stands - currently no attraction.
 

RFRees

Member
Dec 24, 2015
687
Kong has several female drivers which are pretty much the leads
I'm counting Kong as a male. But I guess it's debatable... who is the "lead"... is it the driver? Is it lady who I assume gets killed?
Also, why the hell are you using spoiler tags
I got rid of them... I thought it would make a TLDR post easier to read, and give people the option to delve further, but I'll just have the TLDR bolded for those who don't want to read.
 
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RevFreako

Premium Member
Mar 30, 2015
2,111
I'm counting Kong as a male. But I guess it's debatable... who is the "lead"... is it the driver? Is it lady who I assume gets killed?

I got rid of them... I thought it would make a TLDR post easier to read, and give people the option to delve further, but I'll just have the TLDR bolded for those who don't want to read.
Pretty sure you hear over the radio that the woman is rescued.

I'm counting Kong as a male. But I guess it's debatable... who is the "lead"... is it the driver? Is it lady who I assume gets killed?

I got rid of them... I thought it would make a TLDR post easier to read, and give people the option to delve further, but I'll just have the TLDR bolded for those who don't want to read.
 
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PerezDC

Newcomer
Jul 9, 2018
26
Florida
This is honestly the last thing I'm thinking of when I go to a theme park. Personal opinions aside, Disney differs from Universal because the princesses are some of the most iconic assets in their portfolio of films... and as someone before me said, Kong has its own female lead, which seems to directly contradict your thesis.
 

Imperius

Veteran Member
Feb 28, 2015
3,383
Kong has Kate who was the focus of advertisement and the lead. Maybe they update MIB with Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson.

You also have multiple female meet and greets in the park and will likely get a Trolls ride in Fantastic Worlds.
 
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RFRees

Member
Dec 24, 2015
687
So, despite some saying the drivers are the lead and literally every guests would say the ride is about Kong, I concede that Kate is technically the "lead."

Honestly I wasn't counting her, I was thinking about Kong, but I guess it's technically accurate that she is the lead... technically.
 
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UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,193
The attractions you see at Universal mimic what you see in the movie industry and the all-too-powerful young male demo that are the biggest drivers of the box-office. The most female-centric of the biggest franchises/box-office grossers all pretty much happen to be Disney.
 
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RFRees

Member
Dec 24, 2015
687
The attractions you see at Universal mimic what you see in the movie industry and the all-too-powerful young male demo that are the biggest drivers of the box-office. The most female-centric of the biggest franchises/box-office grossers all pretty much happen to be Disney.
I agree. I don't feel it's necessarily Universals fault, it's just 'the way things are' I suppose.
 
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violarum

Premium Member
Oct 5, 2009
1,847
Hogsmeade
This thread brings up valid points on the stories that are popular in the industry, though thankfully the diversity seems to be increasing slowly but steadily. We've seen this change in original characters, such as Kong featuring two women of different races, the JKR-backed Celestina show featuring a black woman, and with the addition of female wandkeepers. We've even seen it in Disney on Flight of Passage and Na'vi River Journey.

However, with the amount of original attractions Universal hosts, there is certainly room to improve. It may not appear as though this is an issue to anyone in the context of a theme park besides the nichest of niche, but that doesn't mean that the effect would not be profound. To a specific few who never even thought they could imagine themselves as they are in an attraction's lead role, there are no words that can describe their feelings upon seeing a character in a theme park who is relatable to them in race, gender, culture, etc.

This is why the entirely-original seasonal shows and events at Universal are so enthralling: they usually feature the most talented people regardless of their race, and usually include women in their lineup of stars. But even the events can improve all the same.

It's definitely time for more attractions specifically anchored by women, just as it's definitely time for more diverse women to land lead roles in blockbuster films. Any men that say otherwise should step aside and try to understand.


Side-note: discussions like these that challenge the almost preset "ways" of the parks are integral to the discussion of theme parks as a whole, because as clientele, we are just as varied and mixed as the local population.
 

tankart150

Member
Jan 13, 2016
841
MIB HQ
As of today, not a single Universal attraction has a female lead.

Feel free to point it out if I'm wrong, but as far as I'm aware, females are only secondary characters to male leads at all of the Universal attractions.

There's a few small exceptions:

  • Storm-force - Does Storm even speak on this? No one can reasonably count this.
  • Murder She Wrote - Closed for years, so no longer counts.
  • Many rides with females (Despicable Me, Fast and Furious, Forbidden Journey, etc.) - While females may play a strong role, none of these have a "lead female."
  • Potter 'shows' including Frog Choir, Triwizard Spirit Rally, Singing Sorceress, and Tales of Beedle the Bard - These shows are so small that you can hardly count these. Though, I do find it funny that all four of these have female leads... was this on purpose?
  • Jurassic Park - so... technically the dinosaurs are female. :p
  • HHN - As Shiekra38 pointed out, HHN has had female leads in the past years.
  • EDIT - Kong: I was counting Kong as the lead. but it's argued that "Kate" (the woman who appears in scene 1 and 2, but not in scene 3 or 4) is the "lead."

But, there are many male leads in all the major attractions: Shrek, Spider-Man, Hulk, The Mummy, Dr. Doom, Popeye, Dudley, Gringott's, Fallon, Poseidon, Barney, MIB, Curious George, Fievel, Woody... Even Evac (Transformers) is voiced by a man, and that's a character made up entirely for the ride, which could have easily been She-Vac instead (I'm kidding... sorta...). This also is true with (the now closed) Disaster attraction, which Universal made up a male character (director Kincaid, played by Christopher Walken), a part which could have went to a woman.

Disney doesn't seem to have this issue... at least not to the point that Universal does. Disney has Frozen, Cinderella's Castle, Little Mermaid.. and umm... ... I'm sure I'm missing some?... anyway...

I'm not asking for them to create a crap ride for the sake of it... there are plenty of IPs which have some potential (click the spoiler tab to show my list).

  • Hello Kitty - Uni already has a partnership so this one seems easy
  • Bride of Frankenstein - Could have an attraction at Fantastic Worlds as part of their Monsters section
  • Betty Boop - Possible Toon Lagoon addition?
  • Pitch Perfect - I'm not a fan, but it was rumored at one point
  • Charlie's Angels - Reboot coming 2019 (Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures), franchise has good overall name recognition
  • Tomb Raider - Big name recognition, I think it'd be a fine stunt-show. But the last movie didn't do as well as they had hoped so might be less likely
Honorable mentions:
  • Alita: Battle Angel - Probably not since it's owned by Fox, which is being bought out by Disney
  • Ugly Dolls - Unlikely since Uni has enough first party CGI movies to choose from
  • 50 Shades - Just kidding
  • Ghost Busters - Considering this reboot tanked and the next movie is ignoring this one ever happened, I'd say this is highly unlikely
  • Lucy - Made by Uni, decent success (460 million worldwide), could potentially get a sequel... but overall doesn't seem likely
  • Hunger Games - No because it's too depressing (even though Terminator is as well), it's no longer relevant, and the theme park rights already went to Motiongate Dubai
Even films with male leads could potentially have a female lead for the attraction:
  • Poppy could be the lead in a Trolls attraction.
  • Peach's Castle could have an attraction at Fantastic Worlds.
  • MIB Alien Attack could get an update for the new MIB International movie (2019), replacing Will Smith with Tessa Thompson...
And if they make up a new character (such as Kincaid or Evac), maybe they could consider a female instead?


TLDR: My question is - when will the current trend at Universal be broken? What IP could break this trend?

Final side note:
I'm not trying to be a social justice warrior and I'm not saying Universal is intentionally doing anything wrong. If I were to guess, Universal just went with the most popular IPs and the ones which were easiest to translate into an attraction at Universal while not alienating any of their core audience. It just so happens that a majority of the media is male dominated... especially the media with action packed thrills you'd expect to find at Universal.

In addition, unfortunately our society feels that having a male lead is more gender neutral than a female lead. For example, SpongeBob is "for kids," but Disney Princesses are "for girls." This is not Universal's fault, and I can understand if Universal chooses to shy away from an IP like Hello Kitty for fear that it may alienate a portion of their audience. They have to do what's going to make them the most money, after all.
Does it really matter? Also, Terminator could’ve been revamped to feature Sarah in a more lead role, especially with the new movie coming out.