Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Remembering the Universal Ghostbusters...

For such a long time,then Ghostbusters were a part of the Universal theme.When the park opened in 1990,the Ghostbusters was there,sadly one cannot say that when the park closes that it would be there,because on Feb 19 2005,the Ghostbusters were removed.The license for them had expired,and Universal just did not want to renew it.

My first memory of the Ghostbusters was I believe in 1992,my sister had an end of the year field trip to USF in 7th grade.My mom,her best friend,and her best friend's husband all volunteered to be chaperons for the trip and I was allowed to come as well,I was 8 or 9.We had to use our own car as we were not allowed on the bus,which was a good thing since the bus broke down somewhere between Ocala and Orlando.

We arrived at the park first,and at this time there were no garages,no CityWalk,no Islands,just a big parking lot out front of the main gate.While we waited,the music looped and every 8th song there was a soundbyte of Dr Peter Venkman saying "We came,we saw,we kicked it's ass!' followed by the Ghostbusters theme,and as a kid I got very giddy hearing the theme.......who am I kidding,I still get giddy hearing the theme as an adult.

The bus finely arrived and the moment arrived for us to enter the gates,once inside I heard the GB theme down the street and I took off,leaving my mom and the group,which scared the hell out of my mom.They finally found me with the Ghostbusters and I was sitting inside the Ecto-1 in the passengers seat.

Once my mom proved and convinced the employees that I was indeed hers,I was allowed to take pics with the GBs,the actor that played Winston at the time even took off his Proton Pack and allowed me to wear it.This is probably one of my most cherished memories from my childhood.

Fast forward to 1996,my 7th Grade field trip,I rambled on and on about the best show at Universal being the Ghostbusters,when we arrive,I lead my group around to the Firehouse only to be disappointed by the sight of Twister,the rest of that trip was a very sad one for me.

Then in 2000,my mom,step dad,sister,her husband,their son,and I,took a trip to both Universal parks.We opted to head into USF first,and to my surprised,on the map there is a new Ghostbusters show called "Extreme Ghostbusters and the Great Frightway" but to my dismay,it's not the original GBs and Beetlejuice is making them sing and dance,though the show was a disappointment,I still enjoyed it and what made it even better was the fact that USF had the original Ecto-1A from "Ghostbusters 2" on loan from Sony.

2004 came,and me and my best friend,whom I met on the trip in 1996,bought annual passes and took a trip to USF,with these new found powers,we vowed to spend every weekend at the parks.We caught the first showing of the EGBs and then spent the rest of the day in the parks.

Towards the end of 2004,I caught wind of a rumor that Universal was taking the GBs out once again....only this time for good.I was distraught,once again my fave show was facing the chopping block and it was for good this time.I followed the news and rumors until finally USF announced that Feb 19 2005 would be the fine day at the park,one last call for the GBs.

On February 19 2005,myself,my wife,and my best friend embarked on our trip to see the GBs through to their end.We watched every showing of the GBs,and at the last showing I noticed someone from a past childhood memorie....the original actor that played Winston.I approached him and started up conversation.....I told him of my first encounter with him and with my mom and to my surprise he remembered,after the final performance was over,he caught the current Winston's attention and he brought over the pack that I had wore so many years back(Now I'm not really sure if that is the case,but they both said that this pack had been assigned to all of the Winston's over the years,and it did indeed have a piece of masking tape with the words "W.Z Hero Pack" on the back of it.)

I took a photo of me and the current GBs whilst wearing the pack,I'd be lying if I said that I didn't cry,which I wasn't....I was balling.I hugged both Winstons and I make my departure from USF.

So,when shit happens,someone has to deal,who ya gonna call!?

Just remember to call them,my heroes,the Universal Ghostbusters.