1. Spanish subtitles on attraction videos

It’s one thing to provide safety spiels in multiple languages to protect your operation’s liability.  This is quite common.  It’s also one thing to provide optional closed captioning for the hearing impaired. This is the law.  But Universal Hollywood went one step too far when they began subtitling preshow videos in Spanish.  I understand the desire to appease a growing customer demographic and the economics of choosing this cheap solution over the more expensive headsets, but subtitles ruin the thematic ambiance intended by the attractions’ creators.  This is most noticeable on LA’s T2:3D (closing at the end of this year), where Spanish language subtitles ruin the impression that “something is going wrong.”  The element of spontaneity has been eliminated.

2. Dueling Dragons to “chasing dragons.”

Sure someone lost an eye, but the belief that this and the increase in injuries on the now rechristened Dragons Challenge were caused by the two dueling coasters being in close proximity is unwarranted. The new, and quite dangerous injuries, did not take place until after the coaster was rechristened and the queue redesigned from being an enclosed one, to being outdoors and close to the track.  It’s not enough that the redesignation of this coaster eliminated an entrance where one could peer between two dragons and see the three points where the coasters came in close contact perfectly lined up, but Universal’s solution to the injuries was to discontinue running the two trains simultaneously  removing the legendary “duel” and creating what the Universal pr machine coined as a “chase.”  No chase here.  It’s just an ordinary suspended coaster now.

3. Spider-man loses the Statue of Liberty  

Just days after the incidents of Sept 11, 2001, management at Universal Orlando decided, out of sensitivity, to remove a video of super villains stealing the Statue of Liberty and replace it with one explaining the SCOOP ride vehicle.  Well, not only was the SCOOP video still also playing in the following preshow/queue room, now forcing visitors to see it over and over even more, but the theft of the landmark statue was a key component of the ride itself.  Without this tiny tidbit of information in the queue, the story became mired.

4. Closure of the Western stunt show

At Universal Hollywood, this arena has been vacant for years, with the exception of a few Halloween haunts.  Its perfect location right in the middle of the Upper Lot begs for something big.  We’ll see if it goes away to be replaced by Harry Pottertown next year.  If not, bring back the quicksand.

5. The theme park musical that should never exist.

Nope.  Not talking about the Universal Hollywood version of Spider-man.  Actually liked that one. Talking about what replaced it.  I mean, Universal, what the hell?

ORIGINALLY POSTED 11/8/12 ON THEMED REALITY.COM

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