The 3rd Unit

Tales from the Production Crew of Universal Orlando’s Revenge of the Mummy

by Mike Mangione | Release Date: April 30, 2019 | Availability: Print, Kindle

Imhotep Approved

Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Florida is one of the premiere attractions at the park. For fans who want more than a two-minute thrill ride, this book presents the exclusive behind-the-scenes story of the attraction written by the Universal production crew who know it best: the 3rd Unit.

Revenge of the Mummy soon celebrates its 15th anniversary. In celebration of that auspicious event, the production crews (past and present) for the ride have shared their personal stories about running it, working on it, and getting up to various Imhotep not-approved hijinks backstage.

All those stories are here—and we're relatively sure you won't be cursed if you read them.

Don your pith helmet—or pharaonic crown if you're feeling anti-colonial‐and brush the sand and grave mold from these pages. (Ignore the scarab beetles: they were just fed the last reader.) You're about to learn the secrets of Imhotep, delve inside the pyramids and sarcophagi of ancient Egypt, and learn what King Kong has to do with any of this. See you on the other side.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Operation Fundraiser

Chapter 2: The Antics of Thematics

Chapter 3: Me, Myself & Murry

Chapter 4: Food for Thought

Chapter 5: Portside Singalong

Chapter 6: Pushing the Limit

Chapter 7: Raiders of the Lost Park…Attraction

Chapter 8: Reduce, Reuse, Reallocate

Chapter 9: The Buzzing Light

Chapter 10: WANTED: Possessed or Alive

Chapter 11: Rameses the First (And Only)

Chapter 12: From the Dig Site to the Mines

Chapter 13: Ghost Cycling

Chapter 14: The Curse Is Real

Chapter 15: The Last Project

Appendix: All About Revenge of the Mummy


When is a job more than a job? Is it, when you love what you do, and look forward to working each day? How about when you look for not only ways to do your tasks better, but look to improve the facilities around you? Or maybe when you blend with your team so well, your job becomes a form of entertainment and stress relief? Or when the entire team you work with stops being just coworkers and becomes a family? But what if it’s the time you spend at work that makes you a better person?

With its official opening on May 21, 2004, Universal Orlando became home to Revenge of the Mummy, a high-speed rollercoaster thrill ride. The opening attraction operations crew got to experience lightning in a bottle, as the time spent there became a pivotal moment for themselves, the company, and the guests they interacted with daily. Their tales, are prime examples of how one should strive to “raise the bar” and not only find happiness at work but thrive within it.

My name is Mike, and I was gifted with the opportunity to work with a unique group of people who cared deeply for one another, the venue we staffed, and the company. This crew was different from anything one might find in other work environments because the majority of the crew at Mummy willingly and voluntarily engaged in activities and projects well beyond their regular job function.

These team members would be proud to work together, in order to create amazing thematic moments for our guests. They would invest personal funds to provide better amenities for the crew. They would literally write the book on how the team should thematically interact with guests. Even a select few volunteer team members, known as the 3rd Unit, met after hours to work on projects

May 21, 2019, marks the fifteenth anniversary from the grand opening of Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Florida. With the anniversary fast approaching, I decided to get together with several of the original Mummy team members to gather their stories.

What follows here are the personal accounts of these team members, the laughs we shared, the heartaches we endured, and the lessons we learned.

Mike Mangione

Mike Mangione has been employed in the theme park industry for over 17 years. He has worked in a gambit of different venues throughout Universal Orlando as an operations attendant, operations lead, and entertainment technician. He currently works in the technical events area of the entertainment department at Universal Orlando. He is skilled as an audio/video technician for private, corporate, and live events.

His love of the theme parks is almost as great as his love of movies. Mike is film buff to a fault, and has been since very early in childhood. Jurassic Park is the one movie that hooked him into a deep appreciation for both movies and theme parks. Now a graduate of the UCF Film BFA program, he uses his skills to work on TV and movie projects as they arise. Mike has recently founded his own media company IONOX Media LLC.

Although The 3rd Unit is his first published literary work, Mike will continue writing on numerous projects to come.

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