Did you notice anything funky with the recent (and somewhat sudden) closing announcement of Terminator 2: 3D at Universal Studios Florida recently? Oh you didn’t? That’s because no press release has been given as of the writing of this article regarding the closing of that attraction. Which is a bit strange seeing that every other time an attraction has closed at a Universal park in recent years, there is a press release sent out as well as an update on the official Universal blog. This time? Zip. No mention on the Facebook or Twitter accounts. Apparently Team Members were made aware of it internally and it has been mentioned on the Universal Orlando Annual Passholder Facebook page, but in a limited capacity. (Editor’s note: Apparently a short press announcement went out to some press on Sep 7 – didn’t come to my inbox and many other websites) That’s hardly an announcement.
If my sources are correct, the closing of Terminator 2: 3D was somewhat swift in that a lot of the people within the company weren’t aware of it happening until the trigger was pulled by creative and the head of operations. In order to hit the opening deadline of the replacement attraction, this iconic show which opened April 1996 had to be closed ASAP. Why is it closing? Well, a few reasons.
To start, anything with an IP that is not owned by Universal (aside from Harry Potter) is considered to be on the chopping block, especially one that is dated. The first three Terminator films were distributed by Orion, Tristar and Warner Brothers pictures (in that order) meaning Universal most likely pays licensing fees to whoever holds the rights to the Terminator franchise. Why pay licensing fees if you don’t have to? Is Terminator 2: 3D a draw anymore? Does anyone purchase a ticket just to see that show or is it just added value?
That last part of the equation is an important one. Universal parks is taking an aggressive stance on making sure to add attractions that drive attendance and per caps. So aggressive, in fact, that word has come from upon high that major new attractions will be added to each park every year moving forward. No more Universal Studios Florida getting something and Islands of Adventure gets shafted. This shift will start in 2019 when the new coaster/dark ride opens in Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure and the replacement attraction opens for Terminator 2: 3D. This aggressive strategy does not leave out Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan.
So what exactly is replacing Terminator 2: 3D? I wish I could tell you, but I can’t right now. Universal watches Theme Park University rather closely ever since I leaked those Nintendo plans a few months ago. Which, by the way, everything I posted has been shuffled around pretty drastically. Hasn’t completely vanished, but the scope of the project spreads beyond Universal Studios Florida in Orlando anyway. We will talk more about that later, ok? Our apologies to Matt Damon, who were going to interview in this article, we just ran out of time.
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Images Copyright: Universal Orlando Resort