Dates: 1979 – 1992

This high-technology attraction featured animatronics and live actors in a spectacular laser battle. The ride building replaced the short-lived Rockslide attraction, and was replaced in 1992 by the foundations of the Back to the Future (now The Simpsons) show building.
The Battle of Galactica was the first themed attraction to feature audio-animatronic characters outside a Disney park, and was the first dark ride to combine sophisticated animatronics and lasers with live actors.

1979 TV Spot

The animatronic characters were engineered by Alvaro Villa at AVG Entertainment who’d previously worked on the Castle Dracula show.

One of the Cylons featured in the attraction was in storage at Universal (in the “Thunderdome” tech service area under The Simpsons Ride), until it was unearthed in early 2014 (see below).
It’s not known what happened to the rest of the animatronic characters. One of them MAY be in a collection owned by Forrest J Ackerman. The cylon featured in Beverly Hills Cop III is NOT from this attraction. Despite security being on patrol in 1992 when the closure of the ride was announced, it’s believed someone still managed to remove the Cylon from just outside the attraction next to the “laser” cannon.

More information

Additional Resources 

Credits

  • Special Effects and Projector Systems Design by Janek Kaliczak

Artefacts

There’s no physical evidence of the attraction building any more, but an animatronic Cylon from the attraction appeared in the Universal Experience exhibition in 2014 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Studio Tour.

Photo Gallery

Tour Guide Script

FROM STUDIO GUDE SCRIPT, mid 1980s

THE BATTLE OF GALACTICA

(Tour Guide is confused by the unexpected appearance of the huge space vehicle)

“..Wait a minute, there’s some sort of spaceship blocking the road.

(Centurion Voice: “Halt foolish humans, you have blundered into a Cylon Battle Zone. You are now our prisoner – Do not attempt to escape or we will blast you!”)

“We are not going into that spaceship! What is going on here?

Suddenly the zap of a cannon is followed by an explosion. The alien land vehicle has just fired the shot across the bow of the tram at the rock.

(Centurion Voice: Move!”)

“Yes sir, anything you say!” (The door of the spaceship opens and the tram proceeds inside.)

“It seems that we’re being captured by a Cylon battle ship. What will happen inside is anybody’s guess!”

(Tram advances into the spaceship.)

(Centurion Voice: “By your command, this group of very strange looking earth creatures has been captured while attempting a sneak attack on our battleship. Their general is called TOUR GUIDE.”)

“General? What: I’m not a general! We weren’t attacking anything, were we folks?” 

(“Silence foolish mortal, your fate is sealed…”)

(Dialogue continues and Cylons decide to blast off. The countdown begins…)

(Colonial Warrior enters to rescue humans and a laser battle begins…)

(Colonial Warrior: “Get out of here. I’ll be alright.”)

“Let’s get out of here!”

(Colonial Warrior blasts door open and tram exits The Battle of Galactica. After tape recording has completed, Guide resumes narration.)

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have just survived The Battle of Galactica, inspired by the television series, “BATTLESTAR GALACTICA”.”

Operational and Safety Procedures

THE BATTLE OF GALACTICA – OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES:

There are 4 “Emergency Off” buttons inside the effect. Only one of these is available to the Tour Guide. This button is located on the Guide’s left, within reach, once the tram has stopped inside the animation. Pressing this button will stop the show and open the exit doors. Use this “Emergency Off” button:

1. In case of fire
2. If you or the driver must leave the tram.
3. If the guests attempt to leave the tram.
4. In any emergency situation.

There is also an electric eye sensor on the Guide’s side of the tram which, if interrupted, will shut-down the show and open the doors.

THE BATTLE OF GALACTICA – SAFETY PRECAUTION:

The Guide must not leave the tram without pressing the “Emergency Off” button. Also the guide should avoid looking into a direct beam or a bright reflection, when one is visible.

The federal government requires that this warning by included in all manuals dealing with lasers:

“CAUTION – Use or adjustments of controls or of performance procedures other than those specified herein may result in hazardous radiation exposure.”

AVG

This company produced the ‘Theatronics’ (aka Animatronics) for this attraction as well as for the Castle Dracula show on the Upper Lot. In the early 1980s, they produced this demo video: