In the early 20th century, Universal decided to expand their theme park empire out of the US and out into the rest of the world. But before rumors of Singapore, Dubai and Korean theme parks popped up, they had already built Universal Studios Japan. Located in Osaka, Japan, many claim it is exactly like Universal Studios Orlando, but with all of the rides in different places. The park started off with a few American rides turned Japanese such as the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and a sketchy mirror image version of the Jurassic Park River Adventure. The only roller coaster in the park was a small, fun and well-themed Vekoma roller skater called Snoopy's Great Race. But in 2007, this was all about to change.
Rumors began flying around of a B&M Junior Hyper themed to Spider Man. But since there already was a Spider Man ride in the park, this rumor died. Within a few days, Universal Studios Japan announced the B&M Junior Hyper, with the name Hollywood Dream: The Ride. Construction of the ride was very quick and it opened on March 9th, 2007. Hollywood Dream stands 144 ft above the skyline of the Studios. During the 2 minutes and 31 seconds it takes for the ride to complete the course, it travels 3937 ft as it reaches a top speed of 55 mph.
There are many things that make the ride unique. The first thing is that it has the layout of a B&M hyper coaster and it has the same amount of thrills and airtime, yet it still remains small enough for the whole family to enjoy. The second thing is that there are speakers built in behind your head; which isn't really ground-breaking technology. But what makes them so unique is that before you board, you can choose one of five songs you want to listen to. The songs are: Bon Jovi, Homebound Train; Eminem, Lose Yourself; The Beatles, Get Back; Osaka Lover, Dreams Come True; and Kobukuro, The Wing Named You. And, another unique thing about the ride is that when the time of day comes that it becomes dark, the train begins to shimmer using built-in fiber optics. It's one of those really cool, visually stunning yet entirely unnecessary elements that had never been done before.
The ride is really unique. It's been a great addition for 2007 and has been drawing in masses of crowds all year, and hopefully will bring even more in the near future. Let's just see what this new park has to offer in the future.