If you asked me to name the best themed ride, from start to finish, in Florida, I'd probably say, "Men In Black: Alien Attack." But, ironically enough, this ride is located--along with the fairly well themed Simpsons Ride--in one of the worst themed areas of any Florida park.
And, of course, Universal Orlando's on-ride camera policy is, 'No.' So enjoy this update of two well-done, entirely indoor attractions that we can't take photos of, in a an ugly-ass area of the park that we can take all the photos we want of.
Hey, we like a challenge.
World Expo, Universal Studios Florida
Welcome to World Expo! Just follow the concrete!
This 'quiet area' isn't too bad. I'm not 100% sure that it's actually part of World Expo, but it doesn't seem like it could be part of anything else either, so we'll go with it.
When you have no theme, just name things after the area.
Our first stop of note is The International Food & Film Festival. (Don't let the 'Film Festival' part fool you. It's just a counter-service restaurant.)
Here you can choose from Italian food, American food, and Chinese food.
The food here is okay. There are movie posters on the walls, some in different languages. Um...that's about it, really.
Lot's of semi-permanent booths in this area.
Okay, on to the good stuff. This, of course, used to be the Back to the Future shop. Now it's themed to The Simpsons.
Best gift shop ever. Seriously. (What, you thought I had some sort of axe to grind? I calls 'em like I sees 'em.)
To say they make fun of themselves would be an understatement.
Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig, does whatever a Spider-Pig does. Can he swing, from a web? No he can't, he's a pig. Look out! He is a Spider-Pig!
You know...they really should have made a whole Simpsons-themed land.
They have my name!
They don't have Misty's name, but they do have donuts!
My name's not Dingus. He must be talking to you.
Access gate. Maybe they can build some more Simpsons stuff back there.
I think that chick is gonna hurl.
They did a good job converting BTTF to this. Lots of nice touches all around.
You think he parked her there on purpose?
All height signs should be photo ops.
This would be so much better than Potterland.
Yep, same "no fun to wait in" queue as BTTF.
The indoor queue is better.
Damn, I was really excited about the Yardwork Simulator, too.
The ride still has the same "It's not our problem" loading system as BTTF. They put eight people in a room and let them duke it out for two rows of four. Misty and I were in with two groups of three. The attendants ran away.
As for the ride itself, it's a simulator. It's not different. It shakes you around a lot while it pretends it's doing something cool.
Really, the only thing it's got going for it is The Simpsons. So if you don't care for them, there's really no reason to ride it.
Honestly, I think 'motion simulator' was almost the worst choice for a Simpsons ride. I want to go on Captain Dinosaur's Pirate Rip-Off!
Want a Coke?
Oh, 'cause we heard you wanted a Coke.
Are you *sure* you don't want a Coke?
Yes, there really are three drink stands in a row between Simpsons and MiB.
Hmmm...we must be going the wrong way or something, because we keep getting to the gift shops before the actual rides.
One thing Universal has pretty much always done, that the other major Florida chains don't, is to try to sell you time shares right in the midway--which is disgusting, obviously.
This is ride is seriously great. It's an area of contradictions.
They always have a single rider line.
Holy crap, yes! I want to do that! Hurry up, Universal!
Okay, so...your MiB experience begins by going in to see "The Universe and You." Which is (presumably) a cheesy film about whether or not aliens might exists.
"Sorry about all that phony theme park nonsense."
Authorized for MiB agent training.
Cool animatronic queue theming.
I hear the blauvistnig is excellent.
This photo makes it seem really narrow, but the ledge on the left is actually queue.
The Weapons Room.
The loading area.
The view from the other side.
Beware, I have a laser gun.
This is actually a still from the first MiB movie. But see those cardboard target aliens in the background? Those are totally in the ride.
The unload area, which puts you back in "The Universe and You," since you had your memory erased at the end of the ride.
Exit theming is always welcome.
The on-ride photo area.
MiB has the best on-ride photo ever. It even shows everybody's score (you know, if you actually buy the thing). I think our friend Seth (bottom-left) won this round.
The ride was built so that you didn't have to exit into the gift shop if you didn't want to. But in the dark days before Harry Potter, when Universal was selling blood on the street corner, this "emergency" exit door went up and changed all that.
The gift shop is cool, too. (Though it's no Kwik-E-Mart.)
Smisty, that's not his knee.
So, to sum up: Men In Black is awesome, The Simpsons is okay, the area blows.
Okay, back to more important matters. The first ever Erik & Smisty Bag O' Rubbish That We Don't Want Anymore has been sent! And while I have no idea how long it will take to actually reach Mr. Overlord, considering how expensive it was to ship, I can only assume that all packages in Scotland are delivered by jet-powered llamas (and thus I imagine that it won't take all that long).
Great photos! World Expo isn't the best part of the park, but it has one of the best rides in the park -- MIB!
There are a lot of drink stands in World Expo. I remember IOA used to have a bunch of drink stands. Many years ago, I remember that I counted about 5 drink stands in between the Hulk coaster and Cafe 4. Man, how thristy can you be?
I've been to that Bargain World! I love how kistchy/ghetto International Drive can be.
As for that "Orlando Attractions" postcard, take a closer look at the Mexico pavilion... the pyramid is photoshopped to look wider! And the Spaceship Earth pic shows the entrance plaza before the graveyard came around.
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