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Universal Studios Florida Closes Popular Theme Park Attraction

Rumors persist about what might be replacing it and they are despicable.

Universal Studios, like its rival Walt Disney (DIS) - Get The Walt Disney Company Report theme parks, must constantly change. That means that sometimes well-loved or even beloved attractions must be closed in order for new ones to open.

That need has claimed nearly every ride at the Comcast-owned (CMCSA) - Get Comcast Corporation Class A Common Stock Report park with only E.T. Adventure remaining from when the park first opened. That means that rides based on "Jaws," "Back to Future," "King Kong," "Twister," and other iconic move properties no longer exist. Fans have also lost Harry Potter's Dragon Challenge, Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast, the Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue, Lucy – A Tribute, Shrek 4-D, and multiple nighttime fireworks shows.

Change needs to happen because some characters become forgotten or at least not quite as famous as they once were. For example, an annual Halloween Horror Nights show based on the "Bill and Ted" franchise because, well, does anyone under 40 know who those characters are or remember their excellent adventures?

And, in addition to rides and shows, Universal Studios has lost many restaurants over the years. Now, another one -- a sort of nod to the theme park's past -- has closed,

Universal Studios Orlando Lead JS

Universal Closes the Monsters Cafe

Monsters are sort of a part of Universal's past. The company built some of its business on classic monster movies featuring Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, and other well-loved monsters.  There was an attempt to reboot that part of the company into a sort of Marvel-like monsterverse.

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Those efforts, led by the Tom Cruise starring "The Mummy" reboot did not work. That makes the presence of the monsters, sort of an anachronism in the park -- a kind of generic placeholder.

Monsters Cafe has been open since 1998 although its menu has changed a number of times. Now, the location has been closed permanently, according to a statement from the theme park company first reported on by Theme Park Tourist.

“Monster’s Café has closed to make way for a new dining experience. More details will be shared at a later time – stay tuned to our website for updates.”

What's Next for Monsters Cafe?

Universal has not shared any official plans for the location, but where Monsters Cafe sits in the park has led to heavy speculation. The now-shuttered eatery lies in the same general areas as Despicable Me Minions Mayhem and the former Shrek 4-D which the theme park company has heavily hinted will also become a Minions-based attraction or ride.

"The former Shrek 4-D site is rumored to be getting a Minions-based walk-through attraction based on The Villiage-Con supervillain convention which features in the 2015 Minions film," Theme Park Tourist added. "Creating a new dining location with Minions at the heart would certainly seem to make sense but Universal has still not confirmed this."

Universal's classic monsters still have a presence at the Florida theme parks with the "Revenge of the Mummy" ride as well as an annual "house" at the Halloween Horror Nights. It's also likely that the under-construction Epic Universe theme park (Universal's third in Florida) will have a monsters-themed land, although that has not been confirmed by the company.