Retired Universal Orlando Attractions

Amazing attractions come and go at Universal and we "what did this Disney attraction retire?" Universal, as opposed to Disney Studios, tends to keep attractions for a shorter period of time. There are a few reasons that factor in when the question of why replacing a Universal Orlando ride occurs.

Universal's Unique Advantage

Universal Studios Florida opened in 1990, 19 years later than its Disney competitor. Since Universal joined the theme park war later in the game, there was a different approach to creating attractions than that of Disney. Disney had the advantage of having a family-oriented target audience. However, it also meant that attractions could not deviate too far from those family target audiences. This comes as an advantage to Universal. With attractions that target teens and adults, Universal can offer more thrilling options and still include attractions that are kid favorites.

Demand

Although the construction of attractions can be an enormous financial risk, the right attractions can bring in many people and create lasting memories. Universal does its best to stay up to date with what is popular in culture. When the Harry Potter series of movies came out from 2001 to 2011, the idea of a section at Universal seemed like a dream. Sure enough, on June 18, 2010, Universal opened up the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure with great reception. Later, when Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opened, there were guests that waited as long as 10 hours to ride this attraction! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter replaced in Islands of Adventure replaced the Flying Unicorn, Enchanted Oak Tavern, and Dualing Dragons. The Jaws ride which was there at the grand opening of Universal Studios finally saw retirement along with the Amity area.

Loss of Interest

Outdated and irrelevant attractions are also a prime reason for renovation or replacement. Successful attractions are always relevant and as we all grow up and maybe even have kids of our own. Newer prominent shows and movies take the place of the ones we once loved and treasured. All of the original rides at Universal with the exception of E.T. Adventure, have been retired. The second most enduring attraction, Jaws, was open from 1990 to 2015.

Technology

As technology advances, so does the tech behind the rides as well. From basic animatronic movements to trackless ride systems, modern tech is paving the way for more of an immersive experience. It's amazing to see how from old-fashioned roller coasters, we now have progressed to motion-simulated CGI attractions that are so immersive and realistic.

Fan Base

Since the licensing and creation of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, many have flocked to enter a recreated Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. The Hogwarts Express that connects the two lands does an amazing job recreating the details of this iconic train and brings this part of the movie to life. The other major fan base Universal attracts are the Jurassic World franchise fans along with the Simpsons.

Trends

Modern culture fluctuates and some things may become more prominent while others become more taboo. This can be problematic for companies that have pushed a certain conservative brand and that are now trying to gain credibility by branding to a more diverse audience. Universal and its branding have not had this sort of issue because of the older and more diverse audience it can target. In a sense, Universal can keep doing what it's doing without having to step on any toes.

Retired Universal Orlando Attractions

We've compiled a shortlist of retired Universal attractions that detail some of these beloved retired attractions.

Universal Studios Florida

Production Central

  • The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (1992-1993)
  • Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of Making Movies (1990-2003)
  • The Boneyard (1990-2008)
  • The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera (1990-2002)
  • Hercules and Xena: Wizards of the Screen (1997-2000)
  • Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast (2003-2011)
  • MCA Recording Studio (1990-1996)
  • Murder, She Wrote Mystery Theatre (1990-1996)
  • Nickelodeon Studios (1990-2005)
  • Production Studio Tour (1990-1995)
  • Stage 54 (1997-2003)
  • StarToons (1993-1996)

New York City

  • Extreme Ghostbusters: The Great Fright Way (2002-2005)
  • Ghostbusters Spooktacular (1990-1996)
  • Islands of Adventure Preview Center (1997-1999)
  • Kongfrontation (1990-2002)
  • The Marvel Show (1993-1995)
  • The Screen Test Home Video Adventure (1991-1996)
  • StreetBusters (1991-1993)
  • Twister...Ride it Out (1997-2015)

San Francisco/Amity Island

  • An American Tail Theatre (1990-1992)
  • Beetlejuice's Rock and Roll Graveyard Revue (1993-2015)
  • Earthquake: The Big One/Disaster! (1990-2002, 2002-2007)
  • Jaws (1990-2012)
  • The Wild Wild Wild West Stunt Show (1991-2003)

World Expo

  • Back to the Future: The Ride (1991-2007)
  • The Swamp Thing Set (1991-1994)

Woody Woodpecker KidZone

  • Animal Actors Stage (1990-2001)
  • Animal Planet Live (2001-2006)
  • The Bates Mansion Set (1990-1998)
  • The Bates Motel Set (1990-1995)
  • A Day in the Park with Barney (1995-2021)
  • StarToons Character Meet and Greet (1993-1996)

Hollywood

  • Lucy: A Tribute (1992-2015)
  • AT&T at the Movies (1998-2001)
  • How to Make a Mega Movie Deal (1991-1993)
  • T2-3D: Battle Across Time (1996-2017)

Lagoon

  • Dynamite Nights Stunt Spectacular (1990-2000)
  • Universal 360: A Cinesphere Spectacular (2006-2011)
  • Universal's Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories (2012-2017)

Islands of Adventure

  • Dragon Challenge (1999-2017)
  • Island Skipper Tours (1999-2001)
  • Mat Hoffman's Freakin Crazy Stunt Show (2002-2004)
  • Triceratops Encounter/Discovery Trail (1999-2003, 2010-2012)
  • The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad (1999-2018)

Never Opened

  • Sylvester McMonkey McBean's Very Unusual Driving Machine (1999, 2001)

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