Something curious happened recently on the Universal Orlando twitter feed that not many people caught. Mysteriously, the following popped up in the official Universal Orlando Resort twitter feed on March 14 around noon. It features some sort of video shoot of Shrek walking towards a bright light with the caption “It’s not ogre yet. Stay tuned for awesome things to come.”
Now that’s not the weird part… moments later… that tweet literally vanished. Poof. Gone. It’s not there anymore. Perhaps they pulled the trigger too fast? I didn’t expect the announcement to come this fast, but I do know one thing for sure: Shrek 4-D is a goner. The writing has been on the wall for quite some time.
Shrek 4-D opened in June of 2003 at Universal Studios Florida and was an immediate smash hit. At the time, Shrek was one of the highest grossing animated films of all time and solidified Dreamworks as a solid contender to Disney in animated features. Naturally, Universal began working with Dreamworks to secure the theme park rights for Shrek. It was perfect – a film that was just as popular (if not more so) than many Disney animated films AND it made fun of Disney at the same time? It was a slam dunk.
So much so that they gutted the additional space within the former Hitchcock attraction at Universal Studios Florida and added a second theater. The attraction was so popular that it saw wait times over an hour on busy days.
That was, of course, back in 2003. Fast forward to 2018 and the attraction is now nearly 15 years old and 3D movie attractions are not nearly as popular as they once were. Now you can see 3D films in your local movie theater as well as buy a 3D television. On the flip side, Universal does now own Shrek and all of his Dreamworks pals thanks to acquiring them in 2017. So you’d think they’d want to keep the old ogre in the parks, right?
Not exactly. There is barely a need to run two theaters these days as audiences barely can fill one theater often times. Over at Universal Studios Hollywood, Shrek 4-D already closed in Summer of 2017 to make way for a Kung-Fu panda film. So is that what’s opening at Universal Studios Florida?
Highly unlikely. From my understanding they want to keep that attraction for Universal Studios Florida for now. More importantly, due to the upcoming construction of Nintendo at Universal Studios Florida (as stated before, it will not be the Mario Kart ride coming to USF) some things need to be shuffled around and this means that Shrek 4-D will have to come to a close sooner than later. What will the new attraction be replacing it? I can’t say just yet. But the current plan is for the space to be used for something slightly temporary in the meanwhile. I’ll dig into that more at a later date.
For now… whenever they do announce the closure of Shrek 4-D… are you sad to see it go? What do you think should replace it? More importantly, what do you think will replace it? I’m curious to hear your guesses.
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