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Universal Studios Florida – Hollywood: Terminator 2: 3-D Battle Across Time

Rating: * * * * +
Type: A “3-D Virtual Adventure”
Time: About 20 minutes
Our Take: The most exciting 3-D theater attraction in Orlando

When the Governator swore “I’ll be back,” he wasn’t kidding!

Most attractions based on movies are created and developed by specialists at the parks. With T2:3D, “King of the World” James Cameron (director of box-office behemoths Titanic and Avatar) and his Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger set out to prove they could do it better themselves. And, boy, did they ever! Reports are that $60 million was spent to create this show. You’ll get their money’s worth.

You step off Hollywood Boulevard into the rebuilt headquarters of Cyberdyne, the not-so-nice corporate giant of the Terminator flicks, which is out to refurbish its image and show off its latest technology. The pre-show warm-up, which takes place in a large anteroom to the theater itself, features a delicious parody of the "Vision of the Future" corporate videos and television commercials that were all the rage in the early Aughts. The pre-show also gets the plot rolling: Sarah Connor and her son John have invaded Cyberdyne and commandeered the video screen to warn us against the new SkyNet project (which sounds remarkably like the Bush-era National Missile Defense system). According to these "terrorists" (as the Cyberdyne people describe them), SkyNet will enslave us all. The Cyberdyne flack who is our host glosses over this "unfortunate interruption" and ushers us into the large auditorium. There we settle into deceptively normal looking theater seats, don our "protective glasses," and the show begins.

And what a show it is. Without giving too much away, suffice it to say that it involves a spectacular three-screen 3-D movie starring Ah-nold himself, along with Linda Hamilton and Eddie Furlong (the kid from Terminator 2). In one of the more inspired touches, the on-screen actors move from screen to stage and back again, Arnold aboard a roaring motorcycle.

While the Terminator franchise has moved on, with two more films and a TV show released since T2:3-D premiered, this attraction preserves the series at its peak popularity. Though the film's celluloid projectors are showing their age, the special effects remain spectacular, and the slam-bang, smoke-filled finale still has people screaming and shrieking in their seats.

Note that the huge interior queue can hold over 1,100 people, while the theater holds 700 people; with shows starting every 30 to 45 minutes, the line moves fairly quickly..

You've read the excerpt,
now buy the book!

Universal Orlando 2011


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