Theme Park Insider

Here's what you'll find in Universal's Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

November 1, 2016, 10:00 AM · Universal Orlando this morning dropped some additional details about Universal Studios Florida's new attraction for 2017 — Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The heart of the new Tonight Show-themed attraction will be a Flying Theater ride that allows visitors to "race" the Tonight Show host through the streets of New York. The film will include sights of popular New York icons such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, as well as cameos from Tonight Show announcer Steve Higgins and band The Roots. The theater seats 72 guests, according to the park's press release.

Universal's billing the show as the "world's first-ever flying theater," though that has been used perviously as an industry term for the type of system behind Disney's Soarin' and other elevated theater rides. We expect Race Through New York to feature quite a bit more in-show movement than Soarin', which barely moves its seats once they rise into position before the show. The best comparison for ride experience might be with Disney's upcoming Flight of Passage ride in the new Pandora: The World of Avatar land, which also is scheduled to open next year. Or maybe a Back to the Future experience, with 72 people instead of six.

In addition to the main show, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon will feature a substantial, interactive pre-show area, the Studio 6B Club. That will include a meet with Hashtag the Panda, performances by Ragtime Gals barbershop quartet, and clips of many of the show's most popular bits, including History of Rap and Lip Sync Battle. There also will be an Interactive Host Desk, from which you can send Thank You Notes to family and friends.

Universal released another "making of" video today, which shows some of the costumes Fallon will be wearing during bits in the ride film.

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon opens next spring at Universal Studios Florida.

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Replies (22)

November 1, 2016 at 10:24 AM · It might not be a bad thing that many have seemed to pan this ride based on Fallon as the centerpiece - easier to be impressed when expectations are low. From the artwork, the facade looks amazing. The "Making of..." video gives me higher expectations than I've had to date: it gives the impression that there will be a lot more movement with this ride (more than a Soarin'), and the potential for some lighthearted comedy and cameos. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a solid "C+ to D ticket" filler ride that's good for a wide range of age groups, that also gets us out of the heat and runs during bad weather. I'm now hopefull...
November 1, 2016 at 11:07 AM · Similar to Pandora or Back to the Future? No, with a 72 seat theater, it sounds more like Minion Mayhem. Yet another screen based attraction, it's time for Universal to do something different.
November 1, 2016 at 11:31 AM · I'm really excited about this. Perhaps screens are becoming a bit over done, but you know what...They do action and adventure screen attractions really well, so let's see what this comedy focused attraction holds.
I also love the preshow concepts. Dancing with minions is a bit lame to me, but I can't wait to shake a tail feather with HashTag the Panda! I'm also impressed with the concept art for the exterior of the building. The Twister Store corner was a big dud compared to the rest of the New York sets. This will give a more modern NYC look to that corner, plus, I love that there will be a big (apparently) neon ComCast and NBC Peacock visible from the entrance of the park. ComCast has had faith in the theme park business and they continue to pour money into the parks, so having the logo on display is well deserved.
November 1, 2016 at 11:54 AM · Glad Universal are investing in their parks, unlike Disney. But i do dispair at another screen based attraction - it's just too much now.
November 1, 2016 at 12:10 PM · It sounds like another pass for me. It will likely be an once and done movie ride. Fallon is shown spinning in his imaginary vehicle. I already get severe motion sickness from the Simpsons and Transformers ride. It will be a horrible experience, but maybe fun if they do it right.

This is why I have reservations on visiting Universal. There's little for anyone to have a calm ride experience. I quite enjoy Soarin' for the gentle movements.

November 1, 2016 at 2:47 PM · Oh god... this is gonna be terrible.
November 1, 2016 at 3:33 PM · I rather have a Ghostbusters dark ride at the New York section of Universal Orlando.


I fingue this Fallon ride will last as long as the show is still a hit before he retires early. Likely converted into a Great Movie Ride with/SCREENZ and Ghostbusters can go into Men in Black
November 1, 2016 at 3:54 PM · Come to Universal Orlando where you can "R?i?d?e? Watch The M?o?v?i?e?s? Talkshows"!
November 1, 2016 at 4:40 PM · I hope all the posters who harp about this being a motion simulator understand the space restrictions with the old Twister building and understand why anything else is virtually impossible. However, the IP choice is certainly a debate worth having.
November 1, 2016 at 6:49 PM · Whatever the ride is like, the outside will really add to the New York street part of the park,giving it a modern update.
November 1, 2016 at 9:53 PM · While I won't judge the ride until I see the final product, there is absolutely nothing that draws me to this attraction even with the latest information. This sounds very much like a quick, cheap attraction based on an IP that is currently popular but may be irrelevant five years from now.
November 1, 2016 at 11:43 PM · I agree AJ but remember it's Universal, not Disney so 5 years (plus another 5 to become assuredly out-of-date) is a pretty solid run. Nonetheless, I'm almost certain I'll never find out how glorious a tour of modern NYC with Jimmy Fallon can be.

@ Themeparkswami. Me too!

November 2, 2016 at 2:28 AM · They should have brought back Ghostbusters.
That's all.

Well that's not all :-) I think I agree this will like be a one and done.
Jimmy Fallon has not been on here in the UK until literally this week. It seems a bit irrelevant to me from that perspective. But its new, so I'll get drawn in as usual! Moo!

November 2, 2016 at 5:20 AM · Soarin that isn't borin? I'm hoping it's a straight up fun parody of Soarin.
November 2, 2016 at 10:27 AM · Watching this, all I can think of is flashbacks to Superstar Limo at California Adventure....
November 2, 2016 at 11:21 PM · Volcano Bay is an exciting new addition, but I've rarely been more unexcited about an upcoming ride. I couldn't care less about a high-speed tour of New York; if I was intertested in that city, I would fly there, not Orlando.
Sure I'll give it a shot, just because it's new, but Universal can do a lot better than this. Way too many screens. What happened to building great dark rides like Mummy and MIB??
Also, an anonymous poster wrote this above: "Glad Universal are investing in their parks, unlike Disney."
Are you aware that Disney is building three new lands in WDW??
November 2, 2016 at 5:47 PM · Disney is building 3 new lands... Full of screen based rides *cough cough
November 2, 2016 at 10:35 PM · Was not crazy about the idea to begin with. Fits in New York well, but the idea of a Jimmy Fallon ride is absolutely ridiculous. I honestly don't find him as funny as other comedians. As long as they don't add this to Hollywood, I'm fine.
November 3, 2016 at 3:14 AM · "based on an IP that is currently popular but may be irrelevant five years from now."

The IP here is not Jimmy Fallon. The IP is The Tonight Show, which is already a talk show institution. Once Fallon leaves, they can easily update the attraction to whomever future hosts are.

"Are you aware that Disney is building three new lands in WDW??"

Took them long enough. After going through more than a decade of virtually nothing new at WDW, it took Universal to finally make Disney realize they had to do something. Hopefully the development lasts, but the combined billion dollar cost of Avatar and the upcoming ESPN fiasco doesn't leave me with much hope.

November 3, 2016 at 7:59 AM · I'd have no problem with another screen based ride at Universal, if Universal wasn't so terrible at it. The Hogwarts, Fast & Furious and Minions rides were dark and somewhat fuzzy. The only ride that worked was King Kong - thanks to Peter Jackson personally overseeing the project. Please Universal... either solicit Peter Jackson to fix the screen based rides you have or hire the team behind Star Tours at Disneyland. This is why I only go to Universal twice a year.
November 3, 2016 at 7:19 PM · The only thing you're going to find in this attraction is a miserable experience
November 6, 2016 at 5:48 AM · Ghostbusters would have been a far better choice ??

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