Final Fantasy ride


5:18 PM

Entry way to the Final Fantasy ride!

So I finally made my way over to the Universal Cool Japan event for 2018 and this was one of the few times I've actually had the chance to ride the attractions! We didn't get to the park until after 3 or 4pm, so we didn't have much time, but as it was a rainy weekday afternoon, there weren't too many people in line for the rides!

Sailor Moon ribbon merch.

The first ride we headed toward was Sailor Moon: The Miracle 4D attraction, located in the theater that usually shows Sesame Street and Shrek attractions. There was a small food stall in front selling the overpriced Sailor Moon popcorn bags (which with missed the first time around), but with the music and photos by the entrance, we were enjoying the magical girl vibes!

The attraction itself was...okay. I would venture as far as to say that the Shrek attraction is more entertaining and takes better advantage of the 4D components of the theather. The quality of the 3D models was subpar at best, the models themselves being rather bland and unexpressive. The story was short and less engaging, I felt, than the Dragon Ball Z 4D attraction from a few years ago. The nostalgia was definitely there, but I was disappointed with the execution. In the end, it did feel like a money grab.

Also, the merchandise was of a much lower quality than what you can get from Bandai's Bandai Premium website (which is only available in Japan, but then so it this event). I would have thought that, after having so many successful and popular items sell out on Bandai Premium's site, USJ would have done their due diligence and really give us items worth spending (way too much) money on. I did end up saving in the end so I can't complain too much.

After the unthrilling experience on Sailor Moon, we moved on to Final Fantasy; I was rather pessimistic about how this attraction would go, but the 80 minute wait should have been a sign that I wouldn't be disappointed (the wait for Sailor Moon was 20 minutes).

Cactaur Churros
 My partner-in-crime grabbed a quick, cactaur snack before we lined up. In spite of the wait time displayed, we were on the ride in about 30 or 40 minutes.

The Final Fantasy ride uses the attraction Space Fantasy The Ride as a base, and I hadn't expected much attention to detail outside of the ride, but every hint of Space Fantasy was cleverly repurposed into something to fit the Final Fantasy theme!

The rest of the attraction did not disappointed. The VR headset, though a bit uncomfortable, stayed on during all of the twists and turns of the indoor mini coaster, and the video synced up perfectly. You can really see the amount care that was taken when crafting this attraction (and consequently, you can see the amount of care that was missing for the Sailor Moon ride).

It wasn't all doom and disappoint for Universal Cool Japan; there's still the Conan the Detective Escape Room and the Monster Hunter walk through exhibits. But I can't mask my disappointment in Cool Japan this year. You would think that after many years of sold out (express pass ticket-wise) attractions, they would want to keep their reputation, in terms of attraction quality, high.

But as I seem to be the other person in Japan that was unimpressed, I guess they'll be fine.

If you're interested, you can check out my video of this trip to USJ below!


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