Universal Studios’ classic attraction meets a sad end (Blame Disney)
Universal Studios showed very little nostalgia when it came to two of its two Florida theme parks. Since the Comcast-owned company (CMCSA) has based many of its rides on movies and TV shows, it’s inevitable that some of its attractions will become stale.
Even rides based on classic movies like “Back to the Future” and “Jaws” have been shut down, and only “ET Adventure” remains since the original Universal Studios opened in Orlando, Florida.
Adding new rides, attractions, shows and restaurants means old ones have to go. The theme park company has added attractions based on the “Jurassic World” and “Fast & Furious” films as well as two entire lands based on the world of Harry Potter.
It also recently closed a ride/show featuring “Shrek” and plans to install a second “Minions” attraction there. Parts of Universal Studios Florida felt more timeless as they were themed around classic Universal attractions.
This included the “Monster Cafe”, a restaurant loosely based on the film company’s classic monster lineup. It’s not that the cafe was that great – it actually had several menus over the years – but it seemed like something that would always be part of the park, if only because it had such a vague theme. .
In June, Monsters Cafe closed, which has happened before, only for the restaurant to return. Now, however, it looks like the longtime restaurant won’t get another reprieve.
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Monsters Cafe makes room for more Minions?
The now-closed “Shrek 4-D” ride sits across from the “Minions Mayhem” ride and while Universal hasn’t confirmed the site will be used for another Minions attraction, the hints have been heavy hitting. Now the same seems to be true for the old Monsters Cafe, which is adjacent to these two sites,
“A number of photos were posted yesterday on the bioreconstruct Twitter page showing Minions all over the fences that now surround the closed Universal’s Classic Monsters Cafe”, Theme park tourist reported.
Now, while the “Minions” theme hasn’t been confirmed, a number of social media posts have shown that demolition has begun from the Monsters Cafe. Universal has, however, confirmed that the site will be a kind of restaurant.
“Monster’s Café has closed to make way for a new dining experience. More details will be shared later – stay tuned to our website for updates,” the company said, but did not provide any further information.
Universal and Disney continue to up the ante
With his rival Walt Disney (SAY) investing heavily in a major overhaul of its Epcot theme park — including its first-ever roller coaster — that follows the addition of the Avatar-themed land and massive Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney Hollywood Studios , Universal must continue to evolve . The company has its own third park, Epic Universe, under construction, but that doesn’t mean its two existing parks can remain untouched.
Monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein just don’t resonate with families the way new characters like Minions do. Universal has no equivalent to Disney’s timeless animated characters, so it must invest in building rides and attractions around what’s currently popular.
Minions could become classic characters or lose their relevance after another movie or two. For the next decade, however, it just makes more sense to build around this franchise than monsters that today’s kids and maybe even their parents don’t care about.
Disney, of course, didn’t force Universal to shut down the Monsters Cafe, but the theme park’s real estate is valuable, and when you’re fighting for customers, it makes sense to put every element of it to good use.