The Drama of “The Mummy Returns” at Universal Studios Florida

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Mummy entrance July 27th, 2022 Photo courtesy of BrianAndAmanda.net

Way back in May 2001, the movie, Mummy Returns, appeared in theatres. In this movie, viewers got to enjoy the return of Brenden Fraser’s character, Rick O’Connell, battling Imhotep. Very recently, another “Mummy Returns” style event happened to the joy of Universal Orlando fans.

Back in 2021, the expected refurbishment of The Revenge of the Mummy attraction got an announced start time. Very early in 2022, Revenge of the Mummy attraction went under that extensive refurbishment. As someone who rode it often for wait time testing purposes back in 2021, the refurbishment was badly needed. As usual, wild rumors have floated about big changes for this attraction. For example, even today as I write this, people expressed concern (again) that a Tom Cruise movie retheme of this attraction happened. However, most reasoned sources felt this refurbishment involved electronic upgrades and some track repairs. Of course, many Mummy fans wanted upgrades to the animatronics.

Starting around May 2022, rumors started developing about Revenge of the Mummy attraction reopening late June/early July. Then, the rumor went to July 4th as opening date. Some front-line team members were implying that in conversations. Yet, Universal Orlando continued to officially say Mummy attraction opening late summer. Also, about a week before July 4th, a temporary stage appeared near Sahara Traders gift shop, the gift shop you exit in to after riding Mummy attraction. Rumors developed that this stage was created for a ceremony to reopen the Mummy attraction.

July 4th holiday happened and still no Mummy attraction opening. Of course, the Mummy attraction gift shop remained the “Classic Monster” tribute style store during this. Large props of the classic monsters still blocked the Mummy attraction exit. Now, Universal Orlando could quickly move those overnight for a Mummy attraction reopening. However, July 4th came and went without anything related to Mummy attraction. Rumors floated that staff tried to open it that day but could not. Sourcing indicates no truth to that however. Of course, the temporary classic monsters tribute store never changed squashing any credibility to rumors that team members tried to open the attraction on July 4th.

Prop within the Classic Monsters Tribute Store

Also, if I had a $1 for every time I saw a social media post, on July 4th, asking if Mummy attraction opened, I would have enough to pay for an annual pass to every theme park in the world. Rumors spread in theme park fan culture very quickly. They soon turn from rumor to people declaring them as fact. All of us writing blogs have been part of this rumor mongering.

The Mummy attraction opening rumors shine the light of caution when hearing theme park rumors. Just because a blogger (including me) posts a rumor not confirmed by the theme park, it might not be true! However, I suspect, this event will not reduce people taking theme park rumors as fact.

Of course, then on July 7th, additional temporary barriers went up in the former outdoor queuing area of the Mummy attraction. When combined with the temporary stage, many felt Revenge of the Mummy coaster would finally be reopening. Since July 7th fell on a Thursday, this added to potential reopening trustworthiness. Universal Orlando likes to announce things on Thursdays after all. Of course, these walls could have been to just keep people away from attraction if construction walls were taken down. Also, nothing looked rearranged in the classic monster tribute style store in Mummy attraction gift shop. So, Mummy fans still waited longer for their attraction.

Also, the temporary stage set up near Mummy attraction unveiled its purpose during that time, several shows, like Marilyn and the Blues Brothers, used this as temporary location during repaving project around the park. This dashed the theory that the stage involved a ceremony for reopening of Mummy attraction. Once again, Mummy fans must wait longer for their rides.

However, on the morning of July 8th, guests saw the big construction walls removed with the temporary barriers being moved back to block the Mummy entrance. The idea that these temporary barriers were to keep people away from the Mummy attraction looked accurate. Now, the Mummy attraction still failed to be open. Yet, Mummy fans rejoiced with hope of a future reopening soon.

An observant guest would have noticed, on July 8th, that the construction walls got moved to other side of street. The walls now blocked the Delancey street area where Blues Brothers and Sing it! shows happens. A sign appeared over by the temporary stage indicating Sing It! show moved also as of July 8th. The changes in this area of Universal Studios Florida grew.

Then, late on the evening of July 8th, a few prominent Universal Orlando vloggers and bloggers presented strong hints to their followers that the Mummy attraction would be opening the morning of Saturday July 9th. The wait to see what would happen overnight began.

The morning of July 9th arrived; theme park media showed up for early park admission to see very little change to the Mummy attraction. Some slight cosmetic changes happened but nothing exciting. Yet, the unwrapping of the “Mummy” remained delayed to another day. In fact, a black tarp covered all the windows to look into the Mummy attraction queue. Inside the “Sahara Traders” gift shop/ Mummy attraction exit, the Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster and the Bride props still blocked the Mummy attraction exit.

Later that week, on July 12th and 13th, guests could see Sahara Traders returning mostly to conditions before the Mummy attraction started a refurbishment. This threw fuel on the fire of rumors that Revenge of the Mummy would open in just a few days.

Speaking of fuel on the fire, later in that same week, wait time displays began to be tested for the Mummy attraction. The vlogger speculation grew again that the Mummy attraction would open that weekend. Yet, no real level of testing of the attraction itself had begun. Logic started to dictate that the Mummy attraction would not reopen until end of month at earliest due to lack of apparent true testing.

Yet, as happens in the world of theme park rumors, more information leaked out. Several vloggers were told that ride operation testing was happening on Saturday evening July 16th. Why Universal Orlando would choose to have team members trained during that time period near the closing of the park with a special private corporate after-hours event happening that same night, i cannot explain. Of course, my sources were unwilling to say that any testing or training was happening. They did say it would be an odd decision by leadership if done on July 16th.

Of course, the highly active social media team at Universal Orlando got involved. On Friday July 22nd, 2022, they posted a meme to either encourage or torture Universal Orlando fans. Universal Orlando might enjoy torturing their fans lately.

Would this mean Revenge of the Mummy would finally open? As you might guess at this point, many people thought this. In fact, I had a few well-connected people tell me to be awake early for Saturday July 23rd in anticipation of the attraction opening then.

Photo courtesy of Kimmie Caputzal

However, nothing happened regarding the opening of the Mummy attraction on July 23rd. The rumors of big news at Universal Orlando continues to fall short of significant. Speculation flew for at least something that weekend with Universal Orlando’s social media team teasing Halloween Horror Nights fans about an announcement soon only to hear nothing this day.

In the never-ending drama of guessing when the Revenge of the Mummy would reopen, guests had another clue added July 26th. The mummy statue outside the pop-up classic monster tribute store was removed on July 26th. The “Sahara Trader” gift shop looked ready for the ride to reopen also. Yet, the guests waited longer. Of course, they were distracted by all the Halloween Horror Night announcement on July 26th like “The Weeknd.”

Mummy entrance July 27th, 2022
Photo courtesy of BrianAndAmanda.net

On the morning of July 28th, guests noticed that the test seat outside the Mummy attraction returned. Would this mean the attraction would open on that day? Well, at the park opening, the return of the Mummy failed to happen.

Also, later that day, guests recognized that screen for the ride photos returned to “Sahara Traders.” Also, on July 29th, if reports are to be believed, VIP Tour guides were trained on taking people through the Mummy attraction. Would this mean that the Mummy attraction would finally open? Would “late summer” mean late July?

July 28th: Test seats returned
Photo courtesy of Alicia Stella, OrlandoParkStop.com
July 28th: We continue to watch barriers/signs get moved around.
Photo courtesy of Alicia Stella, OrlandoParkStop.com

On that same morning, two different people asked me to ask about a rumor that the Mummy attraction would open August 2nd. I told both of them that my sources could not support or confirm that possibility. Of course, these rumors developed from similar sources as the July 4th reopening rumor. I even heard a few theme park podcasts claim the August 2nd rumor as fact. Once again, theme park rumors grow quickly. Just like in real life, we often hear what we want to hear. At this point, all I could do was wait to see what might happen with the Mummy attraction.

Since I have a “work” trip scheduled to Orlando during August, this rumor peaked my interest. One variable I have left out so far pertains to the Maroon 5 “Music After Dark” event at Universal Orlando. The marketing for that event implies strongly that the Mummy attraction will be open for that after-hours event. Since that event happens in late August, that date functions as only set timetable I have to work with for sure at this point in the drama of when will the “Mummy” make his triumphant return.

On the morning of Saturday July 30th, more development could be seen regarding Mummy attraction. The umbrella and extended outdoor queue looked prepared for guests. In addition, the screens used for photos from the ride were active. A keen observer would see that it looked like Mummy attraction vehicles were cycling through the attraction testing without riders though. Then, the screens were turned off for the ride photos. Would this mean the ride could open soon or technical issues with the photos? At this point, no clue arose as helpful.

As the morning of July 30th continued, a small group of vloggers/bloggers gathered waiting for Mummy attraction to open. Also, several reports that all the ride lockers were tested that morning also. Yet, a “Black Tarp” continued to cover the windows to the main attraction queue. According to reports, many vloggers/bloggers waited all morning and most of the afternoon on July 30th without Mummy attraction opening.

The month of July ended with Mummy not reopening. Apparently, some testing with riders happened thought. In these tests, some issues were discovered. As a result, informed sources felt #MummyWatch would be extended at least another week.

View afternoon of August 1st
Photo courtesy of Vacationeers Podcast

Of course, Monday August 1st rolled around. On that day, team members at the Mummy attraction clearly stated no “soft opening” of the attraction would happen that day. Yet, we know that theme parks do not always divulge everything. Adding to the intrigue, the mobile app indicated Mummy attraction would open at 11am for a brief period of time. Theories grew that Mummy would be returning since mobile app no longer said “Closed” listing no wait time. As with most theme park issues, this could mean something or absolutely nothing.

Do you remember that August 2nd prediction that I got questions about (and was posted in several place online/social media)? Well, Universal Orlando social media fans noticed that the mobile app again listed the Mummy attraction as closed that morning.

View of The Revenge of mummy attraction on August 3rd

As you may expect, speculation continued to an obscene amount about when this attraction would open. I even started making educated guesses when Rip Ride Rock-It refurbishment schedule was announced.

Fitting a familiar pattern at this point, around August 5th, informed sources were being told that the Mummy attraction would reopen around August 9th. If you feel like you have heard this before, I understand. I felt the same way. As expected, the “Mummy” attraction did not open that day either.

August 13th with tarp removed on windows

On Saturday August 13th, observant guests noticed that the black tarp covering window to Mummy attraction queue area was removed. This re-started #MummyWatch for theme park media sitting on benches outside Finnegans’s Bar and Grill. An email was sent to Universal Orlando team members that a preview would be from 11am to 5pm on August 13th. The “testing” looks to have gone well after at least four hours of continual use. They paused at 3pm. Team testing got extended until 9pm on August 13th. After a brief break, the Mummy attraction seemed to run fine.

On the first day of Passholder Appreciation Days at Universal Orlando, The Mummy attraction remained closed. Several vloggers predicted that day, August 15th, as reopening day. That speculation built of fact that passholder exclusive magnet featuring an aspect of the Mummy attraction starting being given out on August 15th. Yet, another Team Member preview/testing happened from 11am-5pm on August 15th. Then, the team member testing went until park closing.

Of course, I needed to “work” at Universal Orlando on August 18th and 19th. Since the Mummy had not returned yet, I had a glimmer of hope this would be the day. Yet, i checked by theme park feed to see another Team Member test happening from 11-5pm on August 18th. We all knew Universal Orlando wants this attraction to run smoothly when it reopens so more testing indicates it may be a bit longer than expected.

Photo from August 19th right before TM testing was announced

To add to the confusion, on August 19th, another round of Team Member testing ensued. Though it was originally scheduled to be for 3 days, only one day of testing was done. Team Members were sent a message saying weekend testing was cancelled to assess the situation and make adjustments as needed. Then, the short-scheduled refurbishment of Rio Ride Rock-It was postponed. That refurbishment was supposed to start on Monday August 21st, Clearly Universal Orlando needs at least one of these coasters running since having both down creates too many issues. That leads to logical speculation that Mummy would not open until maybe the “Music After Dark” event.

However, the Music After Dark event happened with The Revenge of the Mummy attraction remaining closed. Things started to look like Universal Orlando would be stretching the opening of the Mummy right up to the beginning of Fall in mid/late September. In fairness, they said Mummy attractions would reopen in late summer so guests continued to wait.

Halloween Horror Nights fans noticed that the maps for that event released around August 30th had Revenge of the Mummy listed as a attraction open during that special event. With Team Members preview night on August 31st, speculation grew that maybe this time the attraction would open. Of course, official Team Member previews have not been conducted on that attraction since August 19th so some doubted it.

Finally, today, this long running drama ended. Technical rehearsals started for all guests at Universal Orlando. Now, this is only technical rehearsal (or soft opening if you prefer). Things could go wrong and the attraction shut down again. However, at last for now, the Mummy attraction runs for all guests.

Whatever held up the Mummy attraction opening was resolved at least for now. Now that “The Mummy Returned”, the next question should be: Did anything change? For that, I have already submitted another article about the ride experience from testing.

Of course, this article would have been more fun to read if we all had gotten our cup of coffee. Let us hope Brendan Fraser finally got his cup of coffee. However, all evidence points to Brenden still crying out for a cup of coffee. Thanks for reading. If everything goes as planned, I might have a first-hand account of riding the Mummy attraction in a few weeks. Remember the curse is real!


Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.