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Monday
Dec312012

The Terminator and Cast Say Farewell to T2:3D!

On Friday, December 31st, Universal Studios Hollywood pulled the plug on the attraction most beloved by all Schwarzenegger and Terminator fans.  Although Terminator 2:3D remained one of the highest-rated attractions of the theme park, Universal heads felt the design of the Cyberdyne building would be easiest and least costly to convert the grounds into a Despicable Me attraction rather than to build an all new building. This decision may have been a despicable act but at least T2:3D still operates at its original 1994-debuted location of Universal Studios Florida. Since the termination of T2:3D was kept under wraps at the Hollywood location, there was never an opportunity for the fans to rise up and petition or convince Universal to keep our favorite attraction, however, there is a new hope. 


When I went for my last experience this month, it was an emotional time for all of us; for me, for the fans and for the actors. To celebrate, a few fans came out to Universal to say farewell.  We made the best of it by striking some ballsy photos on the T2:3D bike, got some faces panted as cyborgs and we got backstage V.I.P. passes to interview the performers.




It’s here guests are invited to see behind-the-scenes tricks of the attraction like John Connor’s repel which is 40 feet straight down, the hidden doors behind the screen and the lightning fast drop-down main screen which allows the performs to pass through and into the film.  We also had the actors show us many of the props and weapons including two guns and a Mini-hunter. They even had us raise the synthetic soldiers, the T-70s, from the sidelines when we yelled out “action!”

Andy Kuhlmann, who plays the Terminator, had a sad announcement for us. “You guys are privileged enough to attend the FINAL VIP Terminator 2:3d experience. Congratulations.“

Rusty Lockke who played the T-1000 was sitting behind us was introduced and also brought up to the stage to take questions.

TAFs: How did you all hear that the ride was closing and what did this attraction mean to you? Were you really sad to hear it was going away?

The Terminator: “Wow, that’s the first time we’ve heard that question.“

TAFs: We’re big fans. We don’t want the attraction to close.

The Terminator:  “We’ll we’re in the same boat. Universal made the announcement to us on a date that I’ll never forget because it’s not difficult to forget…on 10/11/12.  That’s when we heard it was closing and I’m upset. It’s been a fun ride. It beats working. It’s always great to perform and get paid for what you love to do but hopefully we all move on to bigger and better things. Sad to see it go. It’s been a fun ride. I’m an original cast member since ‘99.”

TAFs: Does the original cast ever come in here? Robert Patrick sent me a photo of him with Rusty (the T-1000) but has anyone else come in in recent times?

The T-1000: “Robert Patrick has been here at least a couple times. We got to chat with him. That was great. Eddie Furlong, when this first opened he used to come in at least once a month. Arnold has been here twice: once on opening day and again, I want to say about 3 years ago for a board of Governors conference and I got to bring him on stage. It was kind of surreal to bring him on stage and see that stage behind him. He was applicable; he was great. He’s a real presence.“


TAFs: The production is awesome. Love the performances with you all. Besides bootlegs, do you think there will be an official polished dvd or blu-ray for sale of T2:3D?

Kimberly Duncan (Played by Shannon Lee Reigh): There is a special edition disc of the footage of the 3D movie. It’s in 2D not 3D. But as far as the entire show itself (with the liver performers), it’s copywrited so I don’t think so.

The Terminator: I don’t think so either but you know what. If you went to guest relations, and demanded that the cast get back together one last time and shoot our performances and film something, we certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it! Personally I think it’s a great suggestion so if there’s anyone you want to suggest it to, we’re all for it!

Our friends at TheTerminatorFans.com had a petition online earlier to get Universal to keep the attraction but the theme park just didn’t give the fans enough warning for us to rise up in great numbers. So perhaps the second best solution is for all of us to listen to the Terminator and ask that they bring this cast back to film the opening live-performance sequence at last.

I also spoke with academy award-winning Terminator make-up artist Jeff Dawn and Terminator stuntman Peter Kent regarding their memories working on T2:3D.

Jeff Dawn: "Hi Randy, I was the make-up dept. head on the project. To date it is my one and only 3D film. I was also at the Universal premiere with Arnold and Stan Winston. T2-3D had a great run. I'm very proud to be part of the Terminator franchise (T1, T2, T3 and T2-3D)."
Peter Kent: "Yes, I know it was a major attraction and it seems a shame to lose it. I was there at the inception and setup of it all. Just getting back in the outfit brought a lot of memories for me! "Your clothes your boots and your motorcycle! I made it to the LA opening. It was incredible. The T2 fans are legendary and will always be. My thanks to them as they are who got my motorcycle jump voted #9 in CNNs list of All time greatest stunts!"
After the show, the T2:3D performers David Burrow (John Connor), Shannon Lee Reigh (Kimberly Duncan), Rusty Lockke (T-1000) and Andy Kuhlmann (T-800) gave their last two group photos ever to Ajay Heathcoat wearing cyborg makeup and to me, wearing a very ballsy Arnold shirt.



Exiting the attraction, we walked through the gift store which was significantly stripped down from its T2:3D merchandise. Only pockets of cool collectibles still existed but the indoor Endoskeleton and all the hanging mini-HKs were gone from the ceilings. There was no good merchandise to buy this day but I did at least walk away with a couple of T2:3D pennies. It was a sad haul of mementos from the last show. But when I came home from my trip, a package was waiting for me at my front door. Rick Derrah, an Arnold fan from Japan, sent me a very generous Christmas gift in the mail. Direct from Universal Studios Japan, Rick sent me an Endo head filled with cookies and 2 little Endoskeleton miniatures. Thanks Rick! At least there’s still magic in Florida and Japan! I’ll miss you Hollywood. Hasta la vista, baby.

 

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