Universal nostalgia still magical
Karen DupreeSince the start of the fall semester at the University of South Florida, my sister hasn’t had a lot of time to visit me in Sebring. With studying, her new job at Busch Gardens and getting acquainted in her apartment, she’s been confined to Tampa. This Sunday, we decided to meet in Orlando and spend the day at Universal Studios.
Published: September 19, 2012
Published: September 19, 2012
When I was about 6 years old, my parents bought season passes to Universal studios for the four of us. We went every few weeks and quickly learned the ins and outs of both the theme park’s rides and the movies they were based on.
My sister and I became experts at the "Men in Black" ride. On this ride, the rider sits in a slow-moving vehicle and shoots aliens as he ventures through the streets of Manhattan. The rider then receives a score based on the number of aliens shot.
Because we rode "Men in Black" over and over again, my sister and I began to notice little subtleties in the ride. For instance, the face of Steven Spielberg can be found in a corner of one of the streets and, if shot, gives the rider a large sum of points. Throughout the ride, little secrets like this can significantly boost one’s score. There is also a pug from the movie that’s worth many points and a secret button that, when pressed at the right time, is the most valuable secret in the ride.
While visiting the theme park as young children, Rachael and I quickly came to love some of the movies featured by the rides as well. We watched "Twister", "Jaws", and "E.T.", but most of all, "Back to the Future".
"Back to the Future" is a dramatic, funny and thought-provoking movie that I can still quote to this day. Michael J. Fox and the rest of the cast deliver timeless lines and the songs of Huey Lewis only add to the truly memorable scenes. My personal favorite moment in the movie is when Marty McFly’s father-to-be gets choked up when talking to his mother-to-be and tells her "you are my density." I believe "Back to the Future" is one of the greatest movies of all time.
One of my most significant memories from Universal Studios will remain with me my whole life. We had season passes in 2001 and used to ride the Spiderman ride all the time. This ride is a 3-D motion simulator that takes the rider through New York City as Spiderman fights villains.
In one scene from the ride, a landscape image was shown of New York City and standing high in the middle were the Twin Towers. Following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the ride was changed so that the towers were no longer shown in the scene. I vividly remember the absence of these awe-inspiring skyscrapers but haven’t realized the implication of this change until many years later.
Since having season passes so many years ago, I’ve only been to Universal a handful of times. While spending time with my sister Sunday, we began to see the major changes that have taken place since we used to go so often. Rides like Jaws have been taken out. Rides like Back to the Future and Hanna-Barbera have been replaced with more relevant ones like Despicable Me and The Simpsons, and new attractions, such as The Mummy and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, have been put in.
No matter what rides and attractions stay and go, however, any day at Universal is filled with magic.