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Universal Orlando Pays Tribute To Shrek Attraction After It Closes Doors For The Last Time And Drops Huge Hints About What’s Coming Next

Shrek and Donkey in Shrek
(Image credit: Dreamworks Animation)

The world of theme park attractions has its own ecosystem of ebb and flow, refurbishment and destruction. One day you’re celebrating the opening of the Jurassic World Velocicoaster, and the next you’re saying goodbye to a decades-long staple. After the attraction based on the Dreamworks animated classic Shrek closed its doors for the last time, as previously planned, Universal Orlando has paid tribute to the ride; while also potentially setting up what’s to come as its replacement.

 Universal Studios Orlando’s Tribute To Shrek 4-D 

Leave it to Universal Studios’ official Twitter feed for the Orlando park to signal Shrek 4-D’s departure in only the best way possible. While it's a good source for jokes about churro stands, as well as throwing some shade at the competition, there are definitely layers to this social media team. Prepare to peel back the onion, and maybe shed some tears, with this simple and fond farewell: 

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While this does mean there’s plenty of opportunity to start talking about those rumored replacements that are waiting in the wings, one can’t overestimate just how much of a fixture Shrek 4-D was to Universal Studios Orlando. Opening in 2003, right at the height of the franchise’s boom and about a year before the release of Shrek 2, this fourth-dimensional romp allowed park-goers to have a little more fun before the next proper chapter started. Which is interesting, as the potential replacement for this attraction seems to have been hinted at with some new construction walls, and it’s one of the handful of ideas that’s been floated since this closure was announced last year. 

Some New Hints Seem To Confirm What Will Replace Shrek 4-D

As previously reported by Orlando Park Stop, there were several rides being hinted at to take the place of Shrek 4-D, once the partial demolition and building was completed. Among the competitors were pre-existing concepts from Universal Studios Hollywood, like the Dreamworks Theater and The Secret Life Of Pets: Off The Leash. If the photos shown below from Orlando Informer are any indication, it looks like the third concept in that initial rumor mill has come to pass, as the Minions franchise is now being plastered all over the walls surrounding this shuttered ride building.

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There is a chance that Universal Studios Orlando could be putting something else in this ride building, as Minions: The Rise of Gru is scheduled for release this July. It’s the sort of free advertising that any theme park extension to a Hollywood studio would be insane to pass up. Those chances still seem to be at a non-zero standing, but just barely, as Universal Studios Orlando’s social media presence has started to drop its own huge hints about what comes next; the video included below being the capper to a bunch of banana-themed imagery:

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An official announcement about what’s to take Shrek 4-D’s place has not been made yet. When and if the Minions attraction is confirmed as the next tenant of this showroom under improvement, it will be interesting to see the reactions from Universal Studios fans all over. At the moment, let’s remember the joy that Shrek 4-D gave park goers for the almost two decades it operated, with an optimistic eye to the future; whatever it may bring.

Minions: The Rise of Gru peels into theaters on July 1. That’s not the only big ticket movie coming from Universal, or any other studio, in the new year! To catch the full picture of what’s headed to theaters, and whether or not that picture has changed, head to our 2022 release schedule. Should you want to relive Shrek 4-D, just without the 4D effects, the ride film is widely available through physical and digital media. At the time of this writing, you can catch it through Netflix’s streaming library, thanks to “The Ghost of Lord Farquaad” being included in the compilation Dreamworks’ Spooky Stories.

Mike Reyes

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.