Ill admit it. I don't get excited about change. I wasn't to happy when Shrek shut its doors to make way for something new. I liked Shrek. It was a cool place to relax when your feet were screaming from sprinting through a theme park for the day, but it was also a fully immersive story that sucked you right in. It closed and I patiently waited to see what would replace it. I have learned that sometimes these parks know what they are doing. I will forever miss the Tower of Terror that Disney's California Adventure once had, but I do love Guardians of the Galaxy (Check out our take on the ride here).
So there we were at Universal Studios Hollywood ready to give this new attraction a chance even though we miss Shrek. The line still had that same old Shrek feel to it but with out the specific Shreckness (that's a word now) to it. It feels clean and organized. That, I can appreciate. Along the wall you see movie posters and this continues around the corner where the line enters the theater lobby. To be honest, this is where the similarities end.
The lobby of Shrek was filled with characters and a million places to look. I loved to see Pinocchio's nose grow or watch the three little pigs going through their back and forth. This new lobby seemed to lack a lot of the detail that Shrek had crammed in every corner. I really felt a little bit disappointed right up until the room began to come alive. As you wait for the room to wake up you can see a wall of awards and movie props. Not a big display, but still it was really cool to look at. This sits where the little pigs once hung out. Above it is a mirror that has a foggy flow to it where the Magic Mirror makes it's appearance. This is the same familiar face from the Shrek lobby with his same charm. As the show starts the walls come alive. Magical is the best way I can describe it. The panels up above become screens filled with your favorite characters. I get the feeling this theater will be home to a lot of different shows. It is set up to easily change from one theme to another with the change of the projector footage.
You meet a bunch of characters and they introduce the story. The Emperor needs a delivery and Po needs our help. We need to help him deliver the Liquid of Unlimited Power safely! The doors open and you enter the theater. It is like the Shrek theater but new and upgraded. We sat midway and center in the theater. These seats were perfect. The chairs are comfy and high off the ground. My little legs dangled like a toddler in a highchair. When the story started the seats began to gently sway along with the boat Po is taking to save the day. Kane has taken the Ming Hammer and he is determined to take the Liquid for himself as well. We travel through the spirit realm and are led on an adventure to safety. The details are rich and the walls in the theater again come alive. You find yourself completely surrounded in the story. Its truly amazing.
Here is where I eat crow. Universal, I wasn't convinced that you could create something I would love as much as I loved Shrek. You did, and you went beyond what I could imagine. I am so excited to see what you create in this space in the future. Thank you for the imagination and creativity you put into these attractions for us. We love them.
Come see it for yourself. I think you will love it too. While you are there, stop by Jurassic Park the Ride. September is that last time you will see it how it is today. They are shutting down the ride to open up the new Jurassic World the Ride. Our Jurassic Park fan is devastated, but I am confident that they know what they are doing, whether Faith does or not.
Until next time, make the most of your moments.