Revenge of the Mummy - Universal Studios Florida

Part 1. The curse is real!

May 20th 2004 was officially Media day for the opening of Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Orlando. During this event, many local TV stations where there to film the ride's opening. There were cast members dressed as main characters from the Mummy movies as well as props set up outside of the attraction. There was a big extravaganza, apparently, that I had missed as we had arrive late at the park that day, I should have know better than to show up late on Media day, as they allowed guests to ride it and give their opinion of the ride. These riders received t-shirts and laminates to commemorate the event. I was expecting to receive something like that at the Annual pass holders event the following evening, but alas, no such luck. Anyway, They did reopen the ride after 2:00 pm that day and allowed the park guests to ride. I was able to get one ride in that day, and I must say what a fantastic ride it is. Revenge of the Mummy is great addition to the park that was well over due. I must say that Revenge of The Mummy is now my favorite ride at Universal Orlando right next to Men In Black. I was able to ride it 4 more times that Saturday and twice more on Sunday.

Of course the ride was packed all weekend, but due to the fact that each mine car holds 16 passengers and the efficiency of the cast members loading the cars, the stand by line moves rather quickly. I stood in the single rider line a few times and that seemed to take longer than I expected, but I believe that is due to the fact that there were many groups of people waiting in line to ride. Time will tell if this will be common with the ride. Revenge of the Mummy is a fast paced and thrilling Roller coaster type ride, very similar to Disney’s Rock and Roller coaster (minus inversions), but also very different. More info on this later.

Part 2: The queue and story line. SPOILERS!!!!!

The queue line of Revenge of the Mummy is very well done. I would say that it is comparable to the queue line of Dueling Dragons. The designers put a lot of attention to detail which really helps set up the story and make you feel like you really are on the set of the next Mummy movie. The exterior of the attraction is designed like a Museum featuring an Egyptian exhibit. Close by are lockers to stow your valuables, as bags are not allowed on the ride. Once inside, you will pass many interesting props, costumes and storyboards from both Mummy movies. Along this part of the que you will find many overhead televisions playing clips from the previous Mummy movies as well as interviews with various cast and crew members. Brendan Fraser (who is having a serious Latte craving), Stephen Sommers as well as the other cast and crew all are talking about their experience filming this new Mummy movie. Through these interviews you learn that there is a rumor going around that a curse has been put on this production. It seems that any time someone says the name Imhotep, unexplainable accidents happen on the set. Now not everyone on the set believes that there is a curse, but precautions are being taken just in case. The cast and crew all wear a medallion around their neck that features the protective symbol of the Majai. This protective Majai symbol shows up many times and plays a very important role in the attraction, more on this later.

Now the crew member that truly believes that the curse is real, is Reggie, the assistant production assistant. He really seems to like his job and wants to do it well, but the curse has really got him spooked and he is having a hard time concentrating. He just can’t seem to get that Latte to Brendan, and Brendan is not happy. At one point Stephen Sommers goes into more detail about the Majai medallion but can’t seem to find his. He asks Reggie to give him his. Reggie reluctantly hands over his medallion to Stephen because he is as afraid to say no to his boss as he is of the curse. Reggie then quickly proceeds to try to find another for himself before anything can happen to him. Unfortunately he learns that there were just enough sent to give one to each cast and crew member and that there are no more to give out. Reggie is terrified, as he should be.

As you venture onward you soon find yourself on an eerily realistic set of Imhotep’s tomb. Various Egyptian carvings and paintings surround you as well as other props. In the back ground you hear foreboding music as well as unnerving chanting that sounds a lot like the voice of Imhotep. You also encounter props that magically react to your touch; could these props be affected by the Mummy’s curse?

You venture forward and soon must ascend a set of stairs that are surrounding a huge Egyptian statue that has recently been excavated. At the top of these stairs you pass under a crumbling archway to the loading station for the mine cars that will take you deeper into the set of Imhotep’s tomb. By the looks on the faces of some of the cast members, you can see that something is affecting them too. Could they be under some sort of spell?

Each individual mine car, very cool looking I might add, holds 16 guests, 4 rows of 4 guests. I recommend the front row; you get the best experience in my opinion. The seats are very comfortable and can fit a decent amount of body types. The restraint system is comfortable and very secure. What follows is a really wild ride and you will really appreciate the restrain system.

More on that wild ride in part 3 coming up soon.

I am going to split this section into two halves as the ride is considered a hybrid dark ride / roller coaster.

Part 3A: The Dark (ride) Side.

Ok, so now you’ve settled in your seat and pulled the restraint down. The cast members, the ones not under that spell, check the restraints and give the thumbs up sign. There is no turning back now. You have no choice but to give up any false sense of security as your heart pounds with anticipation. Has Imhotep risen once again? You are about to find out.

There are two sides to the load station which helps speed load time. The ride does follow one path so it doesn’t matter which side you choose. Before your mine car moves ahead, the main track lines itself up with your side of the load station and your car slowly rolls forward toward the 1st chamber.

You start to hear more whispering as you see the shadow of a figure walking up the stairs through an archway to the far left of the chamber. Suddenly the car turns right just as you hear someone call out to you. It’s Reggie and he has been captured, wrapped in bandages and tied up. He warns you that the curse is indeed real and that you’re heading right into the Mummy’s trap. Hearing this, The Mummy (frighteningly realistic) literally bursts out of his sarcophagus in a rage just to the right of where Reggie is tied up. The Mummy commands Reggie to be silent! He reaches out and drains the soul from Reggie, (Really cool special effect) leaving him as lifeless as the other victims lying about the chamber. As the mine car curves to the right, The Mummy calls out to your group … “With Your Soul, I Shall Rule For Eternity!”

The car continues along the track and curves toward the left. On the wall ahead, glowing Hieroglyphics appear seeming to guide the car forward to the next chamber. The car slows as it enters a dark room; suddenly the far wall illuminates and comes to life with a cascade of sand that turns into the face of Imhotep. He speaks, “Serve me and savor the riches of eternal life!” With this, a beam of light bounces off of mirrors illuminating this chamber full of gold and riches. He also warns what your fate will be if you refuse, just as six of his warrior mummies spring up on either side of the mine car all surrounded by bursts of flame.

The car then moves to the right and speeds up a bit to escape the chamber as the exit door starts to come down almost sealing you inside. Here is where you get just a little taste of speed as the car dives down and to the left finally coming to an extremely abrupt stop! A dead end! But wait! What’s that!? The walls are coming to life! Hundreds of scarab beetles start crawling out of and all over the walls. (Some lighting and water effects make it look and feel like they are falling on top of you, though I thought this could have been done much more effective and with greater impact by having something hit the back of the riders legs like Disney does with the mouse effect in “Honey I shrunk the audience”, from in the seats like in “It’s tough to be a bug”, and/or bursts of air on the back of the neck like in “Alien Encounter”.) Just when you think there is no escape, the mine car starts to move in reverse; though not the same way it entered the scarab chamber. The car somehow seems to magically roll directly backwards and down and comes to a stop once again. On the wall just in front and above the car, the protective seal of the Majai appears. The Majai have somehow saves you. But wait the face of The Mummy materializes from the seal. He calls out saying “This Time Not Even The Majai Could Save You”. The image of The Mummy’s face breaks apart into a swarm of smaller faces as he says “Death Is Only The Beginning”.

All while this is happening, the track is slowly rotating 180 degrees. The rotation then stops and the car slowly moves forward towards an archway. The Mummy starts to grow angrier as the mine car passes through the arch. Then you see that the track slants up as the car starts to ascend. At the top of the hill is the face of the Mummy. He is looking down on the mine car with pure Evil in his burning eyes, then…….

Part 3B: Your Soul Is His!

…Then the Mummy yells “Your Soul Is Mine!” as the mine car does a Rock-N-Roller Coaster / Hulk Coaster launch into the roller coaster part of the ride. The mine car dives through the Mummy’s face, and enters the twisting and turning track. In the darkness, warrior mummy apparitions materialize in flashes. The speed is relentless as the mine car does banked turns to avoid the ghosts. Just when you think that there is no escape from the Mummy’s wrath, the mine car quickly pulls into the disembark station, and comes to an abrupt stop. To the left is the control booth with a cast member inside. You can see her silhouette behind an opaque window. Over the loud speaker she thanks you for riding and asks you to enjoy the rest of your day at the park; but before she could finish her statement, a whirlwind of sand mysteriously lifts her body in the booth and turns her into a lifeless skeleton. A bright flash of light, then The Mummy smashes the window out. He is very angry that you have almost escaped. The Mummy speaks again, (I’m sorry I don’t remember what he says exactly at this point.) Suddenly the entire ceiling above catches fire. Just as the thought crosses your mind that you are about to become a human pot roast, the car launches forward and does this incredibly steep dive down and to the left into a thick cloud of mist and red light (Look scared for the camera!) that looks as if you are diving into a pit of smoke and fire. The car dips and dives again through more twisting coaster track avoiding more warrior mummy apparitions. You then pass one image of The Mummy looking distressed as if his plan to steal your soul is somehow going wrong. Could the power of the Majai be weakening his grasp on you? A final banked turn takes the mine car past a huge terrifying face of The Mummy. He shoots a burst of mist from his mouth that looks like a fire ball coming right towards you, then the symbol of the Majai appears, marking the way to your narrow escape. The Majai have saved your soul from the Evil Imhotep. The mine car slows down and passes a screen where Brendan Fraser welcomes you back from your journey. (I don’t think he has his Majai medallion, as he never believed in the curse from the start.) He apologizes for the bad interview as he angrily blames it on not getting his Latté. Just then, a figure passes in front of him. From off screen a skeleton hand, wrapped in bandages, hands Brendan his Latté. Brendan looks up to thank the person but, instead, screams out in horror as he finally realizes that the curse is real. The mine car pulls into the real disembark station as the cast member, you, and your fellow adventurers applaud this fantastic new ride. The car stops, the restraints release and you are asked to carefully exit out to the souvenir shop. In the shop you can see and purchase your ride photo, as well as many other really cool Revenge of The Mummy souvenirs and Egyptian relics. You can even buy one of the Majai medallions. After you tour the gift shop, you can head out to enjoy the rest of the park, or head straight back to the que line to challenge The Mummy’s wrath once again.

Revenge Of The Mummy is a fantastic and welcomed addition to Universal Studios. The Themeing is superb and the attraction has an easy to follow story line. The special effects are extremely well done and the ride itself is very thrilling and fun. The ride vehicles are very comfortable as well as the restraint system. I would give Revenge of the Mummy a total of 5 out of 5 stars.

Final notes on things I had read about the ride on line prior to riding it.

1. I think I had read about the story line basing the curse on an Eclipse but there was no Eclipse that I recall seeing.

2. “Pass a train of cars filled with mummified folks wearing Islands of Adventure shirts and sporting fanny packs. “ This is not the case.

3. “One of the animatronic warriors leaps onto the vehicles” This did not happen.

4. In the treasure room: “Braziers on the altar burst into 10-foot flames, while a 20-foot flame shoots out towards the train, engulfs the ceiling, and turns the room into an inferno”. No flame shoots toward the car and the ceiling does not burst into flame in this room.

5. “Ghosts, which I believe are projected onto fog,” These are projected on screens not fog.

ENJOY YOUR ADVENTURE!

MAY THE MAJAI BE WITH YOU!

any day at a theme park is a good day