ORLANDO, Fla. — It's time to say farewell to Shrek 4-D, Universal Studios Florida's long-running attraction that features the most famous big green ogre on the planet.
What You Need To Know
- Sunday will be the last day Shrek 4-D will be open
- Universal Studios Florida had announced the move in October
- Fans express sadness about the closure on social media
- Shrek 4-D opened in summer 2003, with original cast voices from Shrek films
After nearly 19 years of delighting fans with tongue-in-cheek humor and a few special effects, the attraction will have its last day of operation on Sunday.
Universal confirmed the closure back in October so if you're just finding out about this...sorry?
While Shrek 4-D might not be the best attraction in Universal's arsenal, it's certainly a fan-favorite as evidenced by the outpouring of emotions on social media following the news.
"This. Is. Heartbreaking," wrote one user on Twitter.
"Someone start a petition pls this is so sad," wrote another.
But instead of wallowing in the sadness, let's take a fond look back at this Universal Studios staple as it prepares to leave us for good.
Shrek 4-D opened in the summer of 2003, replacing the park's opening day attraction Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of Making Movies. It's one of the first attractions visitors encounter when they enter the park.
The indoor theater attraction features a 12-minute animated film that was designed to bridge the first "Shrek" film and its sequel, "Shrek 2." Picking up right where the first film left off, the short follows Shrek and Donkey as they try to save Princess Fiona from Lord Farquaad, who has returned in ghostly form.
The cast of the original film lended their voices to the attraction, including Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and John Lithgow.
The adventure begins in the queue, which features monitors playing clips from "Shrek" on a continuous loop. Spoof posters based on films and attractions line the walls. Some posters make harmless jabs at attractions at other parks such as the poster for Lord Farquaad's Enchanted Tick Room, which is in reference to the Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room attraction at Magic Kingdom.
After snaking their way through the queue, visitors enter a "dungeon," where a clever little pre-show awaits. The Magic Mirror on the wall, with the help of the Three Little Pigs and Pinocchio, interacts with visitors, delivering jokes and puns, before the ghost of Lord Farquaad arrives to ruin all the fun.
From there, visitors make their way into a theater equipped with 4-D effects such as vibrating floors, moving seats, air blasts and water sprayers — all to simulate experiencing the action in the film.
In recent years, part of the attraction has been used during Halloween Horror Nights for different haunted houses, including Halloween 4: Return of Michael Myers, Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Case Files Unearth: Legendary Truth.
Orlando's Shrek 4-D is the last one in the United States, where there will be none after it closes Sunday. Universal Studios Hollywood had a Shrek 4-D attraction but replaced it with DreamWorks Theatre in 2018. Versions of the attraction still exist outside the U.S. at Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Singapore.
For those who can't enjoy Shrek 4-D one last time before it's gone, fear not, there are ways to still experience it outside a Universal theme park.
The short film in the attraction was released on DVD and on Netflix back in the day as Shrek 3-D and "The Ghost of Lord Farquaad," respectively.
As for what comes next for the building that holds Shrek 4-D, Universal isn't disclosing that yet. There's been a lot of speculation about what type of attraction could replace Shrek, but, again, nothing official has been announced.
Fans will still be able to meet Shrek and Donkey at the park's character meet-and-greet experience across the way. Universal said it will continue to operate daily.
Goodbye, Shrek. Sad to see it's ogre.