TPU Reader John writes in to ask: “Have you heard this rumor about Revenge of the Mummy closing? People are saying Universal Studios Florida could shut it down for a major refurbishment by the end of 2020. The logic behind it is The Hulk and Dragon Challenge were both closed after being open for 16 years. Any insight? Have you heard anything?”
Thanks for the great question, John. This is one of the more bizarre rumors I’ve read in a long time. For starters, no I haven’t heard anything about a replacement for The Mummy. Also, it is not listed for refurbishment publicly for 2020 on any Universal Orlando website. However, it’s early in the year. We understand things can change at any time.
First, let’s take a look at the facts. The Incredible Hulk coaster did open in the summer of 1999 and closed in September 2015 to be completely gutted and rebuilt. Sixteen years? Check!
Dragon Challenge (originally known as Dueling Dragons) also opened with the park in June of 1999. However, it officially closed in September 2017. Thus, it actually lasted for 18 years (GASP!) and this is where the logic for this rumored The Revenge of The Mummy refurbishment falls apart.
Now keep in mind, the reason that both of these coasters needed to close is they were very very slowly sinking. They were both built on bodies of water: a lake (and for lack of a better term) a swamp. Florida’s water table is something of a mystery and hard to predict over the course of ten to twenty plus years. At some point, both of these coasters had to close. The good news is, now there are much better roller coaster footers out there that can accommodate being in a Florida body of water than was available in 1999.
The point is, an expiration date had nothing to do with the closures. It had everything to do with how the structures were going to be able to stabilize over time if some of the footers were moving just a few centimeters every few years.
If time were the reason roller coasters had to close, Orlando would have a huge problem on its hands. Kraken, Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain and even Rock N Roller Coaster would all be beyond a 16-year life span.
Even if we pretended that this was just Universal’s roller coaster policy (it is not), then Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster would have closed years ago. It’s the oldest coaster on property as it opened in March of 1999 before Islands of Adventure debuted.
Finally, we need to put one more nail in this Revenge of the Mummy closing in 2020 coffin. Not all coasters are the same. Just because they hit a certain age, it automatically determines they need to be replaced or scrapped. The Mummy was built on a soundstage (concrete floor). Premier rides designed the ride, whereas B&M were responsible for The Hulk and Dragon Challenge. While all roller coasters, they are very different animals.
The stresses on the track on a ride that is indoor and as compact and not that tall are nothing compared to their outdoor counterparts within Universal Orlando. Even being in a temperature-controlled environment and not exposed to the Florida heat and humidity will help preserve a roller coaster and its supports.
At the end of the day, will Revenge of the Mummy close at some point? Of course it will. Universal Orlando has a history of refreshing their attractions faster than the industry average. Will Mummy close in 2020? Unless something crazy happens? Not a chance. Most importantly, it will not close because it reaches some sort of imaginary expiration date like a carton of eggs in your refrigerator. Your thoughts?
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