Monday, September 23, 2013

The Arcades of Universal Orlando (2013)

It's been over a decade since I last visited Universal, in fact it was still called Universal Studios Florida. (For some reason the sign on the main entrance still says Florida, but inside everything says Orlando, go figure.) There's a major difference between Universal and Disney. The only attractions that were the same when I visited last were the Terminator 2 3D movie and the E.T Ride, which I was told they want to get rid of so they don't have to pay Steven Spielberg royalties, which doesn't make sense since they have a new ride based off of Transformers, which he also produced. It's odd not seeing stuff from when I was a kid, they want to go for what's hot and popular now and form the park around it. The 3D motion ride that had Hanna Barbara characters was turned into Jimmy Neutron, then that ran it's course and now it's Despicable Me, the Ghostbusters show is Twister and the worst of the worst, The Simpsons Ride takes place of Back to The Future. The expansion of Downtown Springfield is amazing, but even workers in the park I spoke to all agree that the ride is horrible and it doesn't deserve the expansion. Shame we'll never see Back to The Future make a return since kids and tweens don't know what it is. 

Since there's now two parks there's two arcades. In Islands of Adventure Marvel Island plays host to The Kingpin's Arcade. The inside is standard fair for most arcades now. Nothing but shooters, racing games, claw games and redemption games to win tickets. Sadly none of the classic Konami or Capcom arcade games are in the arcade. The arcade in the main part of Universal Studios is located near the Mummy roller coaster when you exit the ride. Of course like every theme park arcade it's been scaled down and just like Kingpin's they have pretty much the same games. While I was there I noticed the Shrek pinball machine was open and I spoke to one of the workers cleaning it. The gentleman told me to get a good look and play it because this was the last pinball machine they'd ever get in Universal Studios. The company that runs the game deems they don't earn enough money and they break down too often to be worth getting. That and they don't want to run anymore games with licences properties. I asked what about Transformers since they have the ride and he said even though they do have the ride they're not going to bother getting another. Real shame because Universal used to have a great lineup of tables.

Finally a bit of a bonus video is a look at the very small, Loews Royal Pacific game room. As you can see it's really small and since they make you buy a card, I didn't bother playing anything. So I can't judge how well the games worked. 

So that right there is a look at three places at Universal. There's two other hotels, another Loews resort and The Hard Rock Hotel, but since I only had two days there I didn't bother checking them out when I had a decade of catch up to play. I really loved some of the new rides, Spider-Man and Transformers are pretty much the same ride and their both a lot of fun. Harry Potter Island is insane, lots of attetion to detail and it's been so popular it's spilling over into Universal Studios with another Harry Potter ride, shops and a The Hogwarts Express which will take you between Islands of Adventure and the main park.  

Stay tuned later in the week for a new look at The Tomorrow Land arcade and next week we're going to have a FOUR PART tour of Disney Quest! 

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