Back to the Future Day at Universal: Simple, yet Satisfying
Yesterday, October 21, 2015, was Back to the Future Day; the day in Back to the Future Part II when Doc Brown and Marty Mcfly (and Jennifer) arrive in the future. Fans of the series have been waiting for this day since 1989. Many were wondering if the Universal Parks would do anything special for the day. Maybe a special meet and greet, or extra characters, or decorations. Who knows? A few weeks prior, AMC Theaters announced it would be showing the trilogy in its theaters across the country, one thing that I personally was excited to see. However, Universal remained silent on the matter, even with fans sending messages through Twitter to Universal asking if they were planning anything. For what it seemed, it would be just another regular day at Universal Studios. After all, it’s mid Halloween Horror Nights season. How much could Universal really do? The time Doc and Marty arrive is 4:29PM, which is only 30 minutes before the park closes for HHN. And if we’re even ore specific, it is 7:29PM on the East Coast, an hour into HHN.
However, fans still flocked to the park in hopes of seeing something special, anything. I was one of those fans, but I wasn’t expecting anything big, and I was not disappointed! Upon arriving at the gates, Back to the Future music was heard throughout the courtyard. The seemed very busy for a Wednesday in October, but we weren’t worried. Once inside, we saw a small crowd gathering on the sidewalks, waiting for something. We were told Doc would be arriving in the DeLorean, so we waited patiently, but it didn’t take long. The live band appeared and set up, and then the Time Machine rolled around the corner, doors open, Doc himself driving it! Everyone cheered while the band played the BttF theme and songs from the films. They announced the line starting point and we hurried over. The actor who plays Doc Brown is always fabulous, and he definitely didn’t disappoint fans today, quoting the film with fans, and standing in the famous poses time and time again. One side of the car was dedicated to Doc Brown, and the other side was available for fans to get photos of themselves next to the car with the doors open. It was simple, and yet wildly satisfying to be able to get these pictures on this specific day.
As the day went on, Doc and the DeLorean would leave and return repeatedly at the same location for fans to meet him. Doc Brown eventually moved to the regular meet and greet location with the parked DeLorean and Time Travel Train from BttF Part III by Springfield U.S.A. Crowds gathered, growing in numbers until the 4:29PM time of arrival. They counted down together and welcomed Doc to the Future.
The park was filled with hardcore fans dressed as characters from all three films, many carrying purchased or homemade props, such as the Hover Board! A couple who seem to be die hard fans even got married yesterday in front of the parked DeLorean. If you were like me and were lacking in the proper attire or merchandise to celebrate Back to the Future Day, Universal had your back. Inside my favorite merchandise store of Universal Studios named The Film Vault, located next to Transformers; The Ride, Guests could find a special Back to the Future Part II T-shirt which had the date printed on the front and says ‘The future is here…” underneath. They also were selling Marty McFly’s rainbow hat from the film. Both items were flying off the shelves; I’ve never seen the store busier. I got the shirt and my friend got the hat.
After a late lunch, we went to the AMC theater at City Walk to watch the trilogy on the big screen. We had purchased our tickets weeks ago, thankfully. It had said Part I was sold out, but the theater was only about 2/3 full. For the second film, the fans were lined up outside of the theater, many wearing even more character clothing and costumes than we saw in the parks. One person even wore the self-lacing Nike shoes which lit up. The crowd poured into the theater for Part II, the main event, filling almost the entire theater. And sadly, for part III, the majority of people left, leaving the theater only about 1/4 full. But one thing remained consistent throughout the night. Fans laughed at all of the tongue in cheek jokes in each film. They cheers when the titles appeared, and when the films ended. The atmosphere was electric. One of my favorite things to do is see classic/older films in theaters with other fans of the film/series. It adds something to the experience, and Back to the Future did not disappoint.
We had a great day at Universal Studios Florida for Back to the Future Day. The celebrations were simple, yet satisfying in every way. I got my picture with Doc Brown and the DeLorean, purchased my specialty T-shirt, and watched all three films with other fans.