Monday, June 28, 2004

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Hearing the news the my beloved E.T. ride would be destroyed and replaced was very heartwrenching news. Even worse, it was to be replaced with a ride based on a movie that I found subpar to begin with. But with a kind of vane hope I ventured to Universal Studios yesterday to try out this new ride that had some rather large shoes to fill.

Arriving at the park, only for this ride, I was told the wait was 120 minutes. I stood in line which was the standard outside queue. Beige bars moving in a maze like pattern back and forth. Park employees were dressed in safari outfits, some strapped with ammo or carrying double edged axes. Mostly they look bored, hanging on bars and playing with their faux weapons. Since the line was anything but stimulating, I waited to get inside where it was sure to be more entertaining. If you'll recall, when E.T. the ride was in this location you waited outside but inside the line transformed into a forest.

However, the line inside was no better then outside. Just a corridor with hieroglyphics on the walls and dim lights. While E.T. smelled like a pine adding to the experience, this one had none whatsoever.

The ride itself seats I believe 16 in rows of 4. This part seemed suspiciously like the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, especially with the Sala-esque (Arab speaking) man giving you directions. The ride commences, you go through a tomb where hands reach down from the ceiling. Had they not been 15 ft. at most from the top of my head, I may have been frightened. If anything, it seemed the mummies' came off as pathetic, trying to reach a prey incredibly out of reach. Then you progress and see a man on a screen eaten by scarab beetles that comes off as laughable. Still progressing, a mechanical mummy standing on a ledge yelling at us in an inaudible tone. Suddenly the ride shoots forward into darkness, and along with some slight turns and images on scrim (pulled cloth), the ride comes to a stop at a screen where you see some bugs. Then the ride shoots backwards, as if this is part of a story which I have yet to figure out. The mummy is yelling and is incredibly annoying. Finally the ride ends after 20 seconds, and you're left feeling confused, unenthusiastic, and beyond bored.

This ride is so uninteresting it has put doubts in my mind about Universal Studios and how they run their park. Who in their right mind would take away a perfectly good ride and replace it with something as uninspiring and univentive as this.