Throwback Thursday – Defunct Studio Tour Attractions

We all know and love that great attraction at Universal Studios that offers a potpourri of just about everything a theme park/studio has to offer known as the Studio Tour.  But did you know that the Studio Tour has been bringing thrills to Studio visitors since 1964.  Although some the tried and true events that occur on the tour have been around for years, many have not made the cut and been defunct for more modern attractions.  The following is a list of said attractions, what they featured, and what they were replaced by.

Rock Slide (1974-1979):  The tram would stop by a mountain which would begin to rumble.  Suddenly, boulders would begin to fall from the cliff, and the tram would have to dodge the boulders.  The finale of this attraction was the tram colliding with the final boulder, which would later be explained to be paper machet as most heavy looking objects in film are.  The attraction closed in 1979 to make space for the new state of the art Battle-star Gallactica attraction.

Runaway Train (1974-1985):  The tram would cross a train track that riders were told was defunct, however, just as the tram went to cross the tracks, a train would come rushing up and have to brake causing screeching and sparking on the track, just barely stopping before hitting the tram.  Tour guides would explain how sparks were artificially created beneath the train and then shot out to create the effect that the train was actually emergently braking.  The attraction closed due to technical difficulties, however, the train can still be spotted on the studio tour today.

Avalanche Tunnel (1974-2001):  The avalanche tunnel was a rotating tunnel that would simulate an avalanche, complete with destroyed avalanche warning signs and fake snow, as well as sound and temperature affects.  This part of the studio tour was re designed to be the Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb in 2001.

Battle-star Gallactica (1979-1992):  This attraction was a crown jewel for the park.  It featured both audio animatronics and actors head to head in a high tech laser blast off.  It was the first ride to utilize audio animatronics outside of a Disney park and was the first dark ride to incorporate live actors.  The attraction was shut down in 1992 and replaced with Back to the Future: the Ride.

King Kong Encounter (1986-2008):   The tram entered 1976 New York City where King Kong is on the loose and grabs and shakes the tram, which eventually escapes his grasp and gets out of the city safely. The 7-ton, 30-foot-tall (9.1 m) Kong figure was the largest and most complex animatronic figure in existence for many years. The sophistication of the attraction broke new ground and paved the way for today’s themed attractions, including a Universal Studios Florida version. This attraction was completely destroyed by a fire in the early morning of June 1, 2008. As of June 3, 2008, Universal Studios officials stated that the experience would not be rebuilt, and instead was replaced by the new King Kong: 360 3-D attraction, based on the 2005 film.

The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (2001-2013):  Riders are supposed to be taken to see props from the film The Mummy but instead enter the cursed tomb of Imhotep, and are sucked into a viscous sandstorm, before just barely escaping the dead kings wrath.  The wash demolished in 2013 and will now be the location for Fast and Furious Supercharged.

Fast and Furious: Extreme Close-Up (2006-2013): Extreme close up showed the magic behing the movement of the cars in Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, however, Universal was not happy on how this attraction portrayed the series and was closed in 2013.  Planning for Supercharged began shortly after.