The Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure show began the year after Halloween Horror Nights
In Orlando, the show put in place a strict no filming policy in 2007. Some believe that this might have been an attempt at lowering the risk of something from the show going viral or being caught by a sue happy company that the show might be mocking. With the Hollywood show being shut down due to public outcry regarding the show’s contents, some believe that Universal has decided the era of such a politically charged, raunchy comedy has passed.
While this might be true, some like Orlando Informer, have pointed out that both Busch Gardens and Knott’s have similar shows that feature scantily clad dancers intertwined into a pop culture focused year in review style comedy.
It’s this very existence of the shows at Knott’s and Busch Gardens that has some thinking it is not an attempt by Universal to shift the long controversial Halloween event in a more politically correct form, but instead the cost of using the Bill and Ted branding. The crude show was based on the Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures craze that was sweeping the nation in the early '90s with the movie debuting, a television show launched, and tons of merchandise filled malls everywhere.
But these days, Bill and Ted are much less popular with the strong 20-something demographic that Halloween Horror Nights pulls in nearly all being born after that early '90s craze. With the brand being such a shell of its former self some industry trackers are speculating that Universal has chosen to just replace Bill and Ted with an in-house franchise, such as Beetlejuice or the classic Universal monsters. Beetlejuice and the classic monsters, like Mummy and Frankenstein, used to host a regular rock ‘n roll review at Universal Studios Florida. This show could be viewed as a family friendly, PG version of Bill and Ted. In the announcement regarding Bill and Ted Universal shared no details on future plans so there is no indication a new show may open next year.
Bill and Ted
The theater sits in between Men in Black and Diagon Alley. It could easily house a stand-alone attraction, similar to Men in Black or most of Epcot’s Future World attractions. An attraction of this type has been rumored for Universal Orlando based around the Secret Life of Pets film, but in recent months that rumor has died down, leading many to believe the project has been shelved.
This could be Universal’s attempt at lessening the impact of the highly anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy Edge land that is opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios by 2020. Disney is also planning many other major expansions across the resort leading up to the 50th Anniversary celebration in 2021, including new thrill rides in both Epcot and Magic Kingdom. Disney now has the lowest market share it has ever experienced in Orlando and the numerous new additions leading up to the 50th Anniversary celebration is viewed as an attempt to bring back some of that market share. On top of the new potter expansion, the new Nintendo themed area is expected to open at Universal Orlando around 2021.
Universal has been aggressive with its growth since 2010 when Potter first opened in Islands of Adventure causing massive attendance increases across the resort but more recent additions at the resort, like a ride based on Jimmy Fallon and a King Kong tram style ride, haven’t brought in those Potter sized crowds. That is except for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley.
Universal might be leaning heavy on Potter in their response to Disney World’s expansions after successfully using the franchise twice already.
The Diagon Alley Phase 2 expansion is widely believed to be a Ministry of Magic attraction. Rumors range from an interactive ride to a live action show, to a walk-through attraction. It’s thought that the London water-front would be expanded to near Men in Black with new restrooms and refreshments kiosks. This area along the waterfront has already gone through the biggest transformation of any along the park’s lake, but it currently has a rather hodgepodge look with a large early 90s outdoor theater awning, a restroom left over from Jaws and some mostly un-themed vending kiosks.
For now, we must cherish this final season of Bill and Ted then, come November, the big question will be if Fear Factor Live returns or will we be in for even more growth at Universal? Until then we must continue to ‘be excellent to each other.’