Monday, October 9, 2017

Rumors heat up on Star Trek heading to Universal Orlando

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 10:55 AM

PHOTO VIA WIKIPEDIA
  • Photo via Wikipedia
With Terminator 2: 3-D now forever closed at Universal Studios Florida, there have been plenty of rumors of what may replace it.

Speculation ranges from a musical act based on Pitch Perfect to a special effects-driven stunt show themed to Jason Bourne, but now there are rumors of yet another property.

On a recent episode of The Disney Dish podcast, industry insider Jim Hill shared rumors he’s been hearing of a Star Trek-themed attraction coming to the former T2 theater at Universal. Hill stated that the new attraction would include the cast of the upcoming Star Trek 4 film. He also repeats the plan of two major attractions coming online every single year at Universal Orlando, one per park, beginning in 2019.

Some of the new attractions have been either confirmed or close to it, such as a new Harry Potter-themed family coaster and an entirely new land based on Nintendo.

The Star Trek rumors aren’t anything new, but they had died down in the recent years. Previously the rumors had the Star Trek attraction replacing Shrek or Despicable Me. Other rumors have included a Star Trek mini-land being built near the Men in Black attractions or replacing an island at Islands of Adventure.

According to Hill, the new attraction would actually film certain scenes on the set of the fourth film, which will begin production soon.

This isn’t the first time Universal Studios has had a Star Trek presence. Between 1991 and 1996, The Star Trek Adventure allowed guests to have a "screen test" with Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. The primary focus of the attraction was a green-screen video where guests wore Star Trek uniforms and, through "movie magic," were allowed to pilot the Enterprise. A VHS of the experience was then sold to guests.

click image Red Sea Astrarium Star Trek attraction proposed for Jordan - IMAGE VIA THE TREK COLLECTIVE
  • Image via The Trek Collective
  • Red Sea Astrarium Star Trek attraction proposed for Jordan
There have been a few Star Trek tourist attractions over the years. A large-scale, stand-alone Star Trek attraction was previously open in Las Vegas but is now closed. A major new Star Trek theme park was announced for Jordan, but there has been no progress on the development and it's now believed to be dead or very close to it. A Star Trek-themed roller coaster opened earlier this year at Movie Park Germany. Ironically, the biggest proposed Star Trek attraction was a full-scale USS Enterprise resort proposed for Vegas that was designed by The Goddard Group, the same minds behind the Terminator 2 attraction at Universal Orlando.

Previously the rumors regarding the new attraction at Universal Orlando had guests joining the Starfleet Academy before going on an adventure with the USS Enterprise. At the time the strongest rumored ride system was the CircuMotion, a 3D media omnidirectional motion theater from Falcon's Creative Group (think Turtle Trek meets Star Tours).

The new T2 replacement attraction should open around the same time as the Star Wars area at Hollywood Studios in mid-to-late 2019. That means a full two years for Universal to build whatever it may be. Universal is known for its quick construction timelines so two years for them means nearly anything can happen. Now rumors point to a mix of live-action and 3D film scenes. One possibility for the new attractions is the Dynamic Motion Theater from Dynamic Attractions. This new ride system was first announced last November, but since then there hasn’t been much news on it. It uses a similar ride platform as the CircuMotion theater but spins riders between screens and physical sets that are hidden behind quick moving walls.

With The Goddard Group doing much of the design already it wouldn't be much of a stretch to see Universal going so far as embracing the idea of a multi-day Star Trek themed resort if Disney is even remotely successful with its multi-day Star Wars live action role playing hotel concept

One hiccup with the Star Trek rumor is the fact that in the press release announcing T2’s closing stated that the new attraction would be “an all-new live action experience based on a high-energy Universal franchise” and Star Trek isn’t a Universal franchise.

But such curveballs are par for the course with announcements at Orlando’s theme parks. The 2019 opening means we should hear what the new attraction will be within the next year or so.

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