Universal Studios Florida


Terminator 2: 3-D - Battle Across Time

(April 27, 1996 - present)


Photos of the Terminator 2: 3-D: Battle Across Time (T2-3D) show in the Hollywood section of Universal Studios Florida.

The monumental success of 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day film meant that more of the Terminator series was still on the horizon.  It was just a question of what was next.

Universal Studios Florida - Hollywood - Terminator 2: 3-D - 1998 - 01

The answer turned out to be a special collaboration between Academy Award winning director James Cameron and Universal Studios.  It was to be a project of an epic scale, reuniting actors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton and Robert Patrick in a mini-sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day.  This project would cost over $60 million to develop ($24 million for the film and $36 million for the special venue to show it inside the theme park).

Universal Studios Florida - Hollywood - Terminator 2: 3-D - 1998 - 02

Terminator 2: 3-D: Battle Across Time opened on April 27, 1996, in the Hollywood section of Universal Studios Florida.

Universal Studios Florida - Hollywood - Terminator 2: 3-D - 2012 - 01



The attraction is themed as an open house at Cyberdyne Systems.  As we know from the Terminator movies, Cyberdyne Systems is the company responsible for developing the technology for what would become the Terminators and Skynet.  After walking past the security desk the line queue snakes back and forth through what looks like an ordinary office building.  Overhead television monitors keep us updated on the latest news concerning Cyberdyne Systems and its advancements.  Live footage of people waiting in line is periodically shown along with two examples of people behaving badly.  One person is electrocuted while another tries to access a secure area and is arrested.  The video is blended smoothly and you may do a double-take when people get caught breaking the rules.

After grabbing a pair of "safety glasses" (3-D glasses), we're sent into the "Miles Bennett Dyson Memorial Auditorium" to meet with our hostess, Kimberly Duncan, Cyberdyne's Director of Community Relations and Media Control.  The woman is cheery and a bit perky, but she goes ahead and shows us Cyberdyne System's latest promotional video.  There are numerous inventions and products that have a comical yet slightly sinister look to them.  One of the highlights includes a special contact lens that lets basketball players (Shaquille O'Neal in a cameo role) shoot perfect free throws.  We also learn about Skynet, the new computerized defense system that will take military control out of human hands.

Things seem fine until there's a sudden interruption in the video feed.  Sarah (Linda Hamilton) and John Connor (Edward Furlong) appear on screen on behalf of the Resistance.  The Cyberdyne building is about to be attacked and all civilians have fifteen minutes to leave.  Sarah Connor then tells us what she knows about Terminators and Judgment Day, and we see clips from Terminator 2: Judgment Day.  While she's speaking Kimberly Duncan returns and we hear her talking to somebody on the phone.  She's clearly upset that not only are the intruders inside the building, but they're interrupting the video that she personally supervised.  John Connor warns us again to get out of the building before their video feed is stopped.  The Cyberdyne promotional video ends and we have an uneasy feeling about the company.  Kimberly assures us that we've seen the last of "those people."  We're allowed to enter the main auditorium for a live demonstration of Cyberdyne's latest inventions.


The main show for T2-3D begins once we're seated inside of the auditorium.  Kimberly Duncan begins the show and introduces us to Cyberdyne's latest creation, the Series 70 robotic soldiers, something that they've nicknamed the Terminators.  A few of the machines rise on pedestals on each side of the auditorium.  Kimberly requests that we put on our "safety glasses" before the T-70s begin their weapon demonstration.  The T-70s load their weapons, target the special targets hanging over the audience, and then they open fire with their miniguns.  It's a spectacular display as the Terminators shred the targets with pinpoint accuracy.

Suddenly an alarm sounds and Sarah and John Connor descend from the ceiling.  Sarah runs on stage and stops the company's presentation.  Although stunt actors are running around the auditorium, the real actors faces are shown on the television screens.  Just after they stop the presentation, the Cyberdyne logo on the wall is really the T-1,000 (Robert Patrick), and it morphs into human form.  Sarah and John try to flee, but the T-1,000 activates the controls for the T-70 robots and has them target both Connors.  Things are looking bleak until there's an electrical disturbance and a time portal opens on stage.  Out rides the T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.  He fires a shotgun and temporarily wounds the T-1000.  Sarah tells John to join the T-800 and cross back through the time portal.  They do so and the T-1,000 jumps through the portal at the last minute, following the two of them back into the future.

At this point the T2-3D show transforms from a stage show to mostly a 3-D movie.  There are numerous in-theater effects and the stunt actors don't enter the auditorium again until near the end of the show.

The T-800 and John Connor ride their motorcycle through the post-apocalyptic future as they're being chased by the T-1,000.  The T-1,000 tries to slash at them with steel hands, but the T-800 shoots him with his shotgun.  This stops the T-1000 long enough for John and the T-800 to get away.  They ride towards Skynet's headquarters until a flying Hunter Killer (the aircraft-like contraptions) shoots at the motorcycle and causes them to crash.  Three mini Hunter-Killers are dispatched to wipe out the intruders.  John Connor and the T-800 hide in a decayed building and ultimately destroy all three of the mini Hunter-Killers.

Things seem well until a small explosion opens a wall and in walks a Terminator endoskeleton.  The machine walks into the building and puts John Connor in its sights when the T-800 attacks and destroys the Terminator.

John Connor and the T-800 finally enter Skynet.  There's a slight rumble in our seats as the movie screen widens into a super-widescreen 3-D display.  We're now surrounded by 3D effects as they enter the core of Skynet.

The T-800 warns John Connor that there's only one security system in the room, but it's a good one.  Just then the T-1,000,000 comes to life and tries to stop the intruders.  The advanced machine looks like a giant spider as it ducks in and out of the auditorium, trying to catch John and the T-800.  They work to get the T-1,000,000 into position before the T-800 shoots a tank of liquid nitrogen, freezing the massive machine.  The T-1,000,000 is frozen solid while sticking its head "inside" the auditorium.  The T-800 then shoots the T-1,000,000, causing it to break into a million little pieces.  Those pieces quickly melt and begin to re-assemble back into a robot as the T-800 activates the time portal to send John Connor back in time.

The T-1,000,000 is nearly re-assembled as John Connor jumps back into the time portal to return home.  The T-800 uses a cable to swing past the T-1,000,000 before planting an explosive at Skynet's core.  The bomb detonates and a massive fireball destroys the future version of Skynet.  A thick cloud of fog rolls through the auditorium and our seats drop a couple of inches, giving the audience one last scare.  The final scene in T2-3D has Sarah and John Connor reuniting back on stage.  The lights momentarily go out, and when we can see again they've disappeared.


Terminator 2: 3-D ends and the guests exit the show through the Cyber Image store.

While Terminator 2: 3-D - Battle Across Time takes some liberties with its storyline and the physics in the Terminator universe, T2-3D is still a spectacular show, something definitely not to be missed at Universal Studios Florida.  Just be warned that the gunfire in the auditorium is loud and realistic, and a few of the special effects may be frightening to the younger viewers.  Otherwise, take the time and make sure you see this show at Universal Studios Florida!  This is a shining example of how 4-D shows should be created!

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Universal Studios Florida - Hollywood - Terminator 2: 3-D:

Terminator 2: 3-D - warning sign:

Terminator 2: 3-D - entrance & line queue:

Terminator 2: 3-D - preshow:

Terminator 2: 3-D - old sign:

Terminator 2: 3-D - Cyber Image store (exit for Terminator 2: 3-D):