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Studio Tour

Allen The Actor

Allen The Actor
BANNED
Jan 10, 2013
4,829
Hill Valley, California
So, unsurprisingly, the studio tour is the heart and soul of USH and my fav "attraction"for many reasons. Let's discuss what we currently like/dislike about it (and maybe reminisce about it's past) and also discuss any rumored plans for the tour or simply our wishes for it.

I'll start with this. One of my fondest memories as a child, and one of my earliest memories, is the original King Kong encounter. I was scared of that damn monkey breath till i was 11. Loved him afterwards though. You can't beat having a massive animatronic. Miss him a lot. Was devastated the day he burned down.

I love the new New York sets.

King Kong 360 3D is fun, but it has many flaws, one being not truly 360 and also the screens need to be taller. You can plainly see the tops and bottoms of the screens, which kills me....

Jaws needs to be revitalized to be more exciting.

Fast and Furious NEESS TO LEAVE. I forgot how much it cost, but i remember it was a cool couple million.....which is complete crap.

Love Earthquake when all the effects are working.

I don't like Jimmy Fallon as the host....he's kinda.grown on me, but he's very annoying on the tour IMO. I like him in general, but he's wrong for the tour. I would've had different directors or actors "host" different sections of the tour.

Also, i really wanna see more tour "ride" stops, which luckily are in the plans!
 
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Jon Fu

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
Staff member
Jul 26, 2010
2,840
California
King Kong 360 3D is fun, but it has many flaws, one being not truly 360 and also the screens need to be taller. You can plainly see the tops and bottoms of the screens, which kills me....
I originally thought the same thing, but how much taller could they make it? Keep in mind, I don't think Transformers was any taller either.


Just look at the Simpsons. Despite its problems, you can't deny that it's probably the most encompassing screen within the whole park. And even then, I can see the top and bottom of those domes.

Jaws needs to be revitalized to be more exciting.
I know people would love this, but it's never going to happen. If they haven't fixed the tilting mechanism, they aren't going to invest any more money into the franchise. Sad, but true.

Fast and Furious NEESS TO LEAVE. I forgot how much it cost, but i remember it was a cool couple million.....which is complete crap.
Same thing as JAWS. Once it's there, it's there. Not much else could go in that space, unfortunately. I know Universal Creative wanted much more than want is currently in place. Too bad safety regulations and budget constraints got in their way.


But one should should be made clear: King Kong 360 revitalized the entire park. There hasn't been an attraction like that in years that brought the crowds King Kong brought in 2010. That's where I trace the start of the upward slope the park has been climbing.


Without it, who knows where the park will be.
 
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BernardMesa

Rookie
Jan 16, 2013
319
California
I don't like the Mummy tunnel part. It just seems a little dated and like they don't upkeep it as much. And I could see them using the existing building with maybe displaying projections all on the walls of the many Universal movies for the last attraction on the tour. 
 

Allen The Actor

Allen The Actor
BANNED
Jan 10, 2013
4,829
Hill Valley, California
I guess King Kong's screens shouldn't be talker but they should wrap around more/curve more towards the top. It wouldn't have took so much to do it. I think Transformers has a taller screen still. And if it isn't, it definitely wraps around us more.

And about Jaws: hey, I'm just dreaming :P the way I'd redo it completely in the same area is I'd have the tram drive on a bridge in the MIDDLE of the lake, not on the side like it currently is, and I'd have Bruce pop on both sides while the bridge goes side to side. The scary part for me would be that illusion of being in the middle of the water. Hell, can you imagine Jaws popping up during the Parting of the Red Sea segment???? That'd be scary haha.

And regarding fast and furious: I definitely think Universal will remove or change it eventually. Remember, Universal is totally cool with removing anything ;) They're very good with space now, i think instead of the outdoor dancing cars, the same space can be enclosed and we could see a different special effects demonstration.

And i totally agree King Kong revitalized the park. I think Universal is secretly happy that our old Kong burned down :P (although i hate how Kong has been advertised as a separate ride with barely any mention of the studio tour. I remember there were many complaints from people who thought it was a separate ride when it opened)
 
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spinlok

Newcomer
Nov 5, 2012
31
West Palm Beach, FL
I don't really have much of a problem with the current Studio Tour. I know a lot of people find it annoying, but I love the Jimmy Fallon bits. Kong, Jaws, and Earthquake are all fine, and more "attractions" along the tour would certainly be welcome. My only complaints are with the Tokyo Drift and Mummy stops. Tokyo Drift was cool the first time, but I can't take it anymore.  :P  Same thing with the Mummy tunnel. I always hope something's going on so that we have to pass by it. Some sort of update or a complete replacement of those two would be nice.
 
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Jon Fu

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
Staff member
Jul 26, 2010
2,840
California
I always thought the Jimmy Fallon bits were fine. They aren't as spectacular as Universal makes them to be, and I don't always like the extra attention Jimmy gets in lieu of the actual tour.


Then again, he was a decent fit. Looking back, I do miss Ron Howard's introduction (and outro) of the tour. It gave a sense of movie magic and seriousness that went missing with the introduction of Whoopi and Jimmy.


In fact, here's a video of it!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/UaGfGV59z4A?feature=oembed
 
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Allen The Actor

Allen The Actor
BANNED
Jan 10, 2013
4,829
Hill Valley, California
I agree, they advertise him as the host as if he plays a major part in it. I don't think he does.

Like i said, I'd rather they had a different Universal alumni actor or director "host" different clips for different parts of the tour WHERE IT'S NEEDED. Otherwise, i like listening to the tour guide more :)
 
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spinlok

Newcomer
Nov 5, 2012
31
West Palm Beach, FL
What disappointed me heavily about was it seemed like the entire set of videos (excluding the obvious Kong ones) were going to be exchanged. Instead we still have Al Roker at the flash flood, still the old Jaws behind-the-scenes, still the old trailer for Desperate Housewives (nearly two years after it left television, mind you), Whoopi is even still at the Mummy tunnel. A lot of things need updating badly, not just the tour attractions themselves.
I would definitely agree with that too. I was a tad disappointed to see a lot of the old clips still around after the Fallon installation. I don't mind the Roker one too much, though it could have used an update. The other stuff is super old and in need of a change, though, and Whoopi has got to go. Instead of taking the time to do something new there they cheaped out with the "Whoopi is filming a new movie" or whatever bit on the spiel. It makes no sense, heh.

Then again, he was a decent fit. Looking back, I do miss Ron Howard's introduction (and outro) of the tour. It gave a sense of movie magic and seriousness that went missing with the introduction of Whoopi and Jimmy.In fact, here's a video of it!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/UaGfGV59z4A?feature=oembed
Thanks for posting that! What a blast from the past. Good times!
 
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Jon Fu

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
Staff member
Jul 26, 2010
2,840
California
I would definitely agree with that too. I was a tad disappointed to see a lot of the old clips still around after the Fallon installation. I don't mind the Roker one too much, though it could have used an update. The other stuff is super old and in need of a change, though, and Whoopi has got to go. Instead of taking the time to do something new there they cheaped out with the "Whoopi is filming a new movie" or whatever bit on the spiel. It makes no sense, heh.
I've personally never seen that as a huge problem, but I can see why some see that as a "cheapening" of the Studio Tour experience.


If anything, they really should have redone the Al Roker bit - at least in high definition. Its current format looks a bit ridiculous with the tremendous letterboxing from all angles.
 
T

TCox91

And about Jaws: hey, I'm just dreaming :P the way I'd redo it completely in the same area is I'd have the tram drive on a bridge in the MIDDLE of the lake, not on the side like it currently is, and I'd have Bruce pop on both sides while the bridge goes side to side. The scary part for me would be that illusion of being in the middle of the water. Hell, can you imagine Jaws popping up during the Parting of the Red Sea segment???? That'd be scary haha.
I've thought about this too- what if the tram were to stop on a bridge or pier in the middle of the lake, and then it drops a few inches like the Collapsing Bridge right as the shark pops up?  That would be freaky!  Maybe to some extent they could even use some lines from the former Jaws Ride at USF: "10 minutes?!?!  We'll be shark bait in 10 minutes!"

I'd rather they had a different Universal alumni actor or director "host" different clips for different parts of the tour WHERE IT'S NEEDED. Otherwise, i like listening to the tour guide more :)
I like this idea- I think it would be better if someone who worked on each film introduced their own segment of the tour.  This is already somewhat in place with Peter Jackson talking about King Kong 360 3D and the crew from Jaws discussing the film before that part of the tour, but it would be nice if more of this could be done.

I do like Jimmy Fallon as the host better than Whoopi.  Althought I do think it's hilarious that they still use the part where she gets "devoured" by scarabs outside of the Mummy's tomb.  I especially like "Tramtastic Day," and in fact I get slightly annoyed when the tour guides don't let the full video play.  Don't get me wrong though, I do love the tour guides- they add so much to the tour and can make each tour a bit different by telling different facts and jokes!
 

Jon Fu

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
Staff member
Jul 26, 2010
2,840
California
I've thought about this too- what if the tram were to stop on a bridge or pier in the middle of the lake, and then it drops a few inches like the Collapsing Bridge right as the shark pops up?  That would be freaky!  Maybe to some extent they could even use some lines from the former Jaws Ride at USF: "10 minutes?!?!  We'll be shark bait in 10 minutes!"
Would be great if we could get Florida's mechanical sharks.

I kid, I kid.
 

Allen The Actor

Allen The Actor
BANNED
Jan 10, 2013
4,829
Hill Valley, California
I personally don't think Jaws is a lost cause. They could definitely update it somehow! It's such a "staple" on the tour. Then again, BTTF and other Universal rides were classics, and we know where they are now ;)
 

Jon Fu

Editor-in-Chief Emeritus
Staff member
Jul 26, 2010
2,840
California
Well, let's think of it this way: JAWS is no longer classified as a normal attraction under California regulations. That's partly why they haven't fixed the tilting mechanism.

We could hope, but it's one of those things that I think would never happen.

But going back to the question, I would love to see a large-scale mechanical demonstration like Earthquake. It's still a surprising thrill after all these years, I can't imagine what they could come up with given the technology we have these days. Some big and mean - and no, I'm not talking Fast and Furious.
 
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