Universal Studios Orlando (CMCSA) - Get Comcast Corporation Class A Common Stock Report sees on average over 7.5 million patrons annually. Just 36 miles away Disney World (DIS) - Get The Walt Disney Company Report sees on average close to 19 million annually. Disappointing that number of fans can be devastating.
When Universal Studios Orlando decided to close its popular Back to the Future attraction, the ride's removal disappointed a lot of fans. The Back to the Future ride originally opened in June 1993 and was in operation for 14 years. Its final ride took place in September 2007 and it was replaced by The Simpsons ride.
It would have been fitting for the ride to end in 2015, but maybe that would be too much nostalgia, since that is when Doc takes Marty, played by the beloved Michael J Fox, and Jennifer back the future to deal with a Marty Jr issue. Perhaps Universal needed to close the ride before it would create a ripple effect in the time travels.
Universal closed another fan favorite recently, as it shut the Monsters Café. Rumors say that a Minion-themed restaurant will be replacing it since across the way they are opening an attraction based on the Minions. The Minions attraction is set to be located where the Meet Shrek and Donkey attraction was. This makes a lot of sense with the new Minions: The Rise of Gru movie coming out later this year.
Meet Shrek and Donkey will move to the Kids Zone, Theme Park tourist reported.
Universal Studios Orlando is also closing its beloved shop for all things for movie collectors, Williams of Hollywood Prop Shop. The shop originally opened back in 2015. The store was a great shop for collectors, resellers and your average ‘Joe’ just wanting a piece of movie history.
You could spend $30-$40 or you could spend over $1,000. While much of the inventory carried is themed around horror, you can also find other items as well, including actor costumes. Their unique stock of props comes tagged with where the prop was used, so collectors were easily able to track their purchases.
Resellers would frequent the shop because inventory was always changing. What was there on Monday might be completely different than what was in the store on Wednesday. So, if you were buying to resell on Ebay (EBAY) - Get eBay Inc. Report or another auction site, you were always able to have new and fresh inventory for your market.
Resellers usually must validate their items for sale claiming where they were used to increase the value of the prop to a collector. Williams of Hollywood made their work a lot simpler. If it was sold by Williams of Hollywood, it was already tagged and labeled. Resellers just needed to find the collector willing to pay top dollar for the studio props.
It is known that sometimes the actors get to take something from a set as a memento. Reese Witherspoon was able to keep all of her clothes from Legally Blonde. Sarah Jessica Parker kept all her shoes from her work on Sex and the City. Imagine the price tag for those designer outfits and shoes being certified and being worn by the stars themselves.
The close of Williams of Hollywood also means that Universal Studios will have to find another way to get rid of props, that it previously was able to sell for a premium instead of sitting in a storage unit waiting for another use or to be sold off in some other way.
Fans wanting to buy a piece of movie history can get to Williams of Hollywood Prop Shop before its final day June 26. There is no word on what will take its place on Hollywood Boulevard in Universal Studios Orlando.