Sunday, March 17, 2013

From The Vault: Universal Studios Escape

I was really excited for Islands of Adventure to open, and when it was getting closer to that time I got this preview booklet for Universal Orlando Escape.  The Escape moniker was part of a massively failed marketing campaign for the resort in general, but that's another story. 

I think the "Are you ready?" quote worked, but it turned out that most folks just didn't know what they were supposed to be ready for.  "A new ride at the Studios? No? Oh, a whole new park?"  That sort of thing.

Aside from all that the plans released for Islands of Adventure, and the construction photos that were hard to come by on the internet at that point had us all salivating, so this booklet was right up my alley.

Here is where we get to the goods of the new park.  I've always enjoyed the park's logo, even if a bit comic book looking in style.  And Spiderman, yes, it is good to feature him right up front so that everyone knows you could see him in Marvel Super Hero Island.  Considering what an absolutely tremendous attraction Spiderman turned out to be, one might think they could focus on that a tad more or even explain something about it!

Okay and here we have the rest of the lands at Islands of Adventure, well not lands - they called them Islands, and still do.  You can click on the larger images and read the descriptions for yourself, but I'd argue they were well inadequate to really explain what a "theme park for the 21st century" had to offer.

Universal Orlando Escape (it's still weird even typing that) was of course also home to the original park, Universal Studios Florida.  At the time Nickelodeon Studios was still a popular attraction, and Terminator 2 3-D and Twister were some of the latest and greatest attractions being offered.

I suppose you could say that the use of the word Escape did work will the addition of resorts on property.  And for nightlife City Walk was opened, full of restaurants, clubs, and movie theaters.  If you look at the text under the shot of the Portofino Bay Hotel take note that it was "the first of five themed resorts planned at Universal Studios Escape!"  It is currently 2013 and the 4th hotel is just now starting to go up - one has to wonder what they had planned back in 1999!

Okay, yes I'm ready!  Where do I sign up?  Don't try to do it at the first website they list there - it's currently for sale and just brimming with pop up ads! 

But really, even if the marketing was a big flop - the start of the total resort that Universal has become was awesome in reality.  And while it took a while... actually it took a long while and a Wizard to really get things moving... I love the resort!