Revenge of the Mummy is set to close next month for an extended refurbishment at Universal Studios Florida. The indoor roller coaster ride will be closed from January 7, 2022, through late summer.
While it has long been rumored that this attraction will be receiving some new track, there are also rumors that specific story elements may be tweaked, or even removed entirely, during this downtime as well.
Universal Orlando has not given any official details on the ride’s upcoming closure, but many are assuming that certain ride elements that are worn out will be replaced. This could include large sections of track, the coaster launch, and braking sections.
The Mummy ride already received an entirely new indoor locker area a few years ago in 2018, along with new entry signage along the front of the building. Earlier this year the ride closed to receive updated screen media, but that closure was brief.
With the nearby Tribute Store now open practically year-round, Revenge of the Mummy has lost what used to be as its extended queue. These areas would be needed during busy times of the year. As a result, the ride had to utilize virtual queue during the busy Thanksgiving holiday last month.
It’s possible that the main areas of queue for Revenge of the Mummy could be reworked during the upcoming closure to better accommodate crowds. The queue could even be updated with more cohesive theming while they are reorganizing the layout. This would be similar to how The Incredible Hulk Coaster’s queue was rethemed and updated when it reopened after a complete retrack in 2016.
One way the queue could be updated, is by removing the film set motif, and theming it completely as the Museum of Antiquities, as the facade suggests. The transition to ancient dig site could remain in the back half of the queue, as that is already themed with immersive storytelling. Much of the movie set area is gone now anyway, as that was the theme for the extended queue where the Tribute Store sits.
In case you’re wondering what this new queue could look like, and how it would flow between areas, you can just look to the version of the ride in Universal Studios Singapore. Their Mummy ride does not contain the film stage theming, but does feature the dig site and similar load area theming.
Besides the fact that there just isn’t very much film stage theming left now, the queue videos in these areas are presented in a very low quality standard definition. You may only see these video screens for a minute or two anyway, so I can see them being removed entirely rather than up-res’d or reshot.
Now, if they do remove the queue videos, they will also be removing key elements of the attraction’s story line. Of course, the fact that there are key elements of an attraction’s story that guests only have a minute or two to absorb is already a problem.
The story for the ride involves an Assistant Production Assistant named Reggie working on the latest Mummy movie’s film set. He’s tasked with getting actor Brendan Fraser a cup of coffee, but because his Medjai necklace was taken by Brendan, he is unable to fetch that coffee. Everyone on the set is paranoid about a real curse, and even the craft services staff are requiring a magical Medjai be worn to retrieve food.
Once on the ride, the first scene features an animatronic version of Reggie from the queue video, now wrapped up in bandages. He tries to warn us that not only is the curse real, but even the Medjai cannot save us… Before his life force is removed by Imhotep the mummy.
At the end of the ride we see a screen with Brendan Fraser, still speaking to the camera like he was during the queue videos. He tells us he would’ve enjoyed this interview more, if he had gotten his cup of coffee.
While these moments of the attraction are highly quotable, and are memorable for longtime fans of the attraction, they make little sense to new riders. With only a moment to absorb the backstory in a very small section of queue through a low-quality video, there just isn’t enough reason to keep it all on the ride.
When the new Tom Cruise Mummy reboot came out back in 2017, there were rumors of budget being set aside to retheme the ride to the Dark Universe version if the film was successful. Spoiler warning, it was not. Some of the funds were supposedly used for the new locker area and entrance upgrades, but the rest of the plans were shelved.
Again, shortly before the pandemic, there were rumors of the ride closing for new track, but Covid seemed to have postponed the inevitable. And now, here we are, with small story tweaks rumored to accompany the ride track replacements.
Without Reggie and Brendan Fraser’s cup of coffee, it’s likely that the attraction could be themed exactly how it is in Universal Singapore. In fact, only a couple lines of dialogue need to be replaced, and the red film crew hat removed from Reggie’s head in the first scene. (Universal Hollywood’s version of the attraction also omits the Brendan Fraser coffee bit, but that version contains less scenes than Orlando overall).
Instead of talking about how the Medjai can save you, the Singapore version focuses on finding the Book of the Dead as the only way to stop Imhotep. This is similar to the plot of the original film, but it doesn’t require any set up or backstory to be explained in the queue. It also doesn’t require an appearance from Brendan Fraser at the end of the ride.
Last month, annual passholders could get a free button that features a mummy’s hand holding a cup of coffee. I found it odd that this button was given out IN ADDITION to another button for November, (especially considering it had already been given out previously back in 2019). I can’t help but wonder if this was our one last chance to celebrate the joke, before a refurbishment could possibly remove the cup of coffee altogether?
None of these details have been confirmed by Universal Orlando, but if you’re a fan of the current version, now may be your last chance to experience it before changes are made next year. Even if the current story line is retained, I am sure there will be some changes made to the queue or attraction, so better to be safe than sorry.