godzilla ride

It was only a matter of time before Godzilla stomped his way into a theme park attraction, but it makes perfect sense that Universal Studios Japan would be the park to make it happen. Godzilla: The Real 4D has was announced a few months ago and will debut next year and the first trailer for the attraction has arrived.

The commercial is brief and doesn’t actually show off the ride itself, but it’s admirably bonkers, staging an attack on Universal Studios Japan by the King of the Monsters himself. It’s worth noting that the Godzilla featured in this footage isn’t the classic design or even the version seen in Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla movie from a few years ago. This is the big guy from Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi’s Shin Godzilla, which was one of the stranger films I saw in 2016.

Although specifics remain unknown, Godzilla: The Real 4D will be a theater show, where audiences will get to witness a Kaiju attack first hand. Those first three d’s in the title refer to the fact that there will be 3D glasses involved. The fourth d means that audiences will be subjected splashes of water, blasts of heat, and probably waves of smoke. In other words, it very much sounds like a modern update on shuttered Universal Studios attractions like Earthquake and Twister: Ride It Out, both of which followed the “audience stands by and watches a well-orchestrated disaster happen” model of entertainment.

Here’s the official description of the ride:

Godzilla brings its intimidating, city-crushing 350-foot frame to Universal Studios Japan in an unrivaled 4D attraction, featuring incredible video combined with special effects to stimulate the five senses. Experience fear and despair with amazingly realistic sensations, as you stand face-to-face with the iconic monster in “Godzilla: The Real 4-D.” Available for a limited time only.

Take special notice of that final sentence. Godzilla: The Real 4D is not intended to be a permanent attraction. It is actually part of Universal Cool Japan 2017, an annual event that brings popular Japanese characters and franchises into the park for a limited time only. 2017’s line-up also includes temporary attractions based on Evangelion, Monster Hunter, and Attack on Titan. The event begins on January 13 and runs through June.

In the interest of trivia, it should be noted that Walt Disney World almost built a Godzilla ride for its Japan pavilion at Epcot back in the day, only for plans to not come together. Nothing sums up the theme park rivalry between Disney and Universal quite like the latter managing to get Godzilla into one of its parks first.

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