During our SCRAPPED series, we explored the various Walt Disney World attractions and resorts that sadly never saw the light of day. This time we’re going to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure to see what could have been, but we’re going to do things a little differently. In 2014, Theme Park Tourist published an article about 18 attractions at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure that never materialized. We’ll reevaluate this list and see which attractions have seen new life and which attractions are still guesswork 8 years later. You can read the original article here.
18. Batman Island
Prior to the creation of Marvel Super Hero Island, there were earlier plans to incorporate a Batman-themed land called Gotham Island into what was originally to be Cartoon World (the original concept of Islands of Adventure). The immersive terrain would have included plenty of caped crusader-themed rides, including the suspended Batjets roller coaster, the Wild Mouse roller coaster from Joker’s Madhouse, a dark Batcar ride, and even the iconic Batcave.
Unfortunately, it was all about the money when Universal was negotiating with Warner Bros. to get the rights to the DC characters and that Looney Tunes and Universal apparently didn’t offer enough, so the plans fell through. The rights to these characters finally landed with Six Flags, and you can now find several Batman-themed rides throughout all of their parks.
17. Batman vs. Penguin
The original concept for what would later become Dueling Dragons. The coaster would have featured two coasters hanging in a duel. Although Batman vs. Penguin would have featured jet-like suspended vehicles.
16. Rocky the flying squirrel
This family coaster would have been incorporated into what is now Toon Lagoon. Not much else is known except that the theme would have been around Rocky from Rocky and Bullwinkle.
15. Otto’s Bus Ride
It is said that Universal originally wanted to incorporate the famous Simpson family into Islands of Adventure rather than Universal Studios where they now reside. However, at the time of development of the park, Universal was unable to obtain the rights to use the characters. This incorporation into Islands of Adventure would have included a simulator adventure where guests would board Otto’s school bus. Later we had different iterations of a simulator ride with The Simpsons Ride.
14. The Simpsons Dark Ride
Around the time Islands of Adventure was preparing to open, Universal wanted to open a new attraction in the original park so that guests would still be drawn to Universal Studios. Several ideas have been thrown around, a few of which we will discuss later. One concept was a dark spin on The Simpsons. It would have seen the family take a trip to Orlando and featured satirical depictions of many local parks and sights. The ride they chose to build back then ended up being Men in Black: Alien Attack and of course we had a whole lot of Simpsons many years later.
13. Apollo 13 roller coaster
Another attraction considered to draw people to Universal Studios was the Apollo 13 roller coaster. Apparently Universal liked the idea of a coaster because Islands of Adventure was to have three of them, Dueling Dragons and The Incredible Hulk. The interior coaster would have been housed in a replica of the Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building. They also considered a disaster concept for the roller coaster, but ultimately it never materialized. The Disaster concept was used in the theme change of the Earthquake attraction when it became Disaster! A Major Motion Picture Ride… Starring YOU, which unfortunately is now closed.
12. Jurassic Park Helicopter Tours
The Helicoptours was supposed to be a simulator ride that would introduce technology similar to Disney’s Soarin’, but before Soarin’ even opened. While visiting the dinosaur-infested land, riders were reportedly attacked by pteranodons.
11. Jurassic Park Jeep Tour
It was to be like in the movie where guests take a tour of Jurassic Park and encounter dinosaurs along the way. It was decided that the ride was too similar to the River Adventure already in development. Interestingly, Jurassic Park River Adventure was originally intended to be built at Universal Studios. but once the development of a new park started, they decided to move it to the new park and incorporate a whole theme land. In fact, the inclusion of the Jurassic Park-themed land would be one of the main reasons the Cartoon World concept was scrapped.
10. Raptor Runners
The original concept for a raptor themed coaster was a wooden coaster. It is said to have also featured a dark driving part and some type of driving track movement. This idea is more like what riders experience in Hagrid’s Magical Motorbike Adventure than the amazing raptor-themed coaster we have today. As you might know, we finally got a raptor-themed coaster called the Jurassic World VelociCoaster, but it’s a bit more modern than the original concept and offers a fun, fast, and twisty ride.