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The Mummy Unwrapped - Part II

The Mummy Unwrapped - Part II

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Let's set the Wayback for about ten years ago.

"Why ten years?," you ask. Well, according to my sources, "Revenge of the Mummy" has been in the works for ten years now. Obviously, this was long before the "Mummy" re-make and its sequels were even in theaters. But Universal Creative has reportedly long wanted to add a roller coaster in the works to the Hollywood theme park's lineup. Something that would finally USH a competitor in the Southern California competition that Knotts & Magic Mountain have been engaging in for the past decade.

Unfortunately, Universal Creative did not think that they had a film property strong enough to build a coaster around. "Jurassic Park" was already on its way to being one of the best water rides ever imagined. And "Back to the Future" IMAX simulator attraction had had finally given Universal Studios a ride to rival Disney's "Star Tours." But - when it came to coaster -- Universal kept coming up short.

Flash forward to 1999. With the release of "The Mummy," Universal finally had a film with enough thrills & suspense that it could serve as the springboard for an all-new coaster. Or should I say TWO brand new coasters.

To explain: As a former employee of Universal Studios Hollywood, ("Terminator 2: 3D," to be specific) I can tell you the question I was asked most [Apart from where the bathrooms were. Which was "At the Strand Hotel. Directly behind you, sir."] was if this version of "Terminator" was the same thing as the Florida version. Well, apart from having a bigger theater and more robots at the beginning of the Hollywood version of the show, these two attractions are virtually the same.

Still - as Disney's California Adventure's lightly recycled assortment of rides & shows show -- has repeatedly proved - cloned Florida attractions don't always prove to be popular with Southern Californian theme park goers. Which was why Universal Creative decided to create different back stories for both the Orlando & Hollywood versions of this attraction.

The storyline for the Florida version of "Revenge of the Mummy" is that we are extras on the set of the third "Mummy" movie. We are brought onto the shoot until...Something Goes Horribly Wrong.

Despite the fact that Florida's "Mummy" coaster is incredibly well done and is a lot of fun to ride, the attraction's storyline is said to be somewhat unclear. Is Imhotep actually extracting his vengeance on the guests riding Universal Orlando's "Mummy" coaster? Or are all the thrills that these USF visitors have been experiencing just part of the "shoot"?

With the Hollywood version of this coaster, Universal Creative hopes to avoid some of this confusion. In this version of the ride, the movie-making pretext is dropped. The Universal Hollywood version of "Revenge of the Mummy" takes riders straight into a freshly plundered tomb, where we accidentally awaken Imhotep.

It turns out - however -- that Imhotep is an equal opportunity assailant. He doesn't care whether USH visitors are there to help or hinder him. Imhotep just decides to extract his vengeance upon the attraction's riders.

As for other differences between the Hollywood & the Florida versions of "Revenge of the Mummy," the launch of the Californian coaster is flat while Orlando sends you uphill. Also - given that USH's "Revenge of the Mummy" is housed in that theme park's old "E.T." show building -- the Hollywood version of this ride is said to be just a tad shorter than the Florida version of the attraction. Which was built inside of that theme park's cavernous "Kongfrontation" building.

"And what is the finale for the Hollywood version of the ride like?," you ask. Well, I actually got up at 6 a.m. this past Sunday to take part in USH's annual passholder preview for "Revenge of the Mummy." An early morning adventure that I'll detail in my next JHM article ..

Rick Gutierrez is a Theater Arts Directing Major with a double major in Journalism. He is currently writing his first stage play, "Super Hero 101," which will have its first public performance later this summer.

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