Interesting article Dan. I have very found memories from my childhood of Universal Studies Florida (as it once was) so it is interesting to read about its evolution. For me, it is disappointing that the rides I once loved are no more - Jaws, Back To The Future, King Kong and Earthquake - since I don't like rollercoasters and prefer the more sedate pace of the these themed rides. As much as I love Islands of Adventure (especially Spider-Man), the original remains my favorite, so it is s shame that we will be seeing less of that backlot feel and more thrill-rides. That said, I still think Universal's parks in Florida are the stand out attractions for any movie fan visiting the State.
The one that really stings for me is Back to the Future. I love The Simpsons and what they've done with that area, but I'm not sure the ride is a big improvement. King Kong was also great, though I do like the Mummy coaster a lot. Earthquake is still sort of there under a new title, though the pre-shows are all new from what I've heard. Like I say in the post, I think DVD extras and the Internet have changed how we look at movies. It takes the thrills and more immersive lands to really work. I also agree that Universal is way beyond Disney's Hollywood Studios for a movie fan.