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  • Say My Name, E.T. Say My Name!E.T. is greeting riders by name again at Universal Orlando. But for how long?
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Say My Name, E.T. Say My Name! Gifts for Theme Park Fans Latest News on Star Wars Land The Top 10 Theme Parks You Wish to Visit
Robert Niles

Say My Name, E.T. Say My Name!

Published: December 17, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Fans are reporting that E.T. is once again saying riders' names on the E.T. Adventure at Universal Studios Florida.

Listening to other followers on Twitter, the reaction to this news seems to be split between "Wait a minute, E.T. can say people's names?" and "Wait a minute, there's still an E.T. ride at Universal Studios Florida?" E.T. is the last remaining unchanged original attraction from the 1990 opening of the park, save for the coming and going of the namechecking, of course.

The use in the attraction of "passport" cards to E.T.'s home world, which then allowed E.T. to say each visitor's name at the end of the ride, represented one of the first widespread uses of interactivity in a major theme park attraction. Director Steven Spielberg recorded the preshow for the attraction, which makes a point of emphasizing the passports that visitors would collect as they told a ride attendant their name upon entering the inside queue. Ride attendants at the load area would collect the passport cards, which would be associated with each rider's name and would provide the input that would prompt E.T.'s farewell at the conclusion of the trip.


Of course, much fun was to be had in trying to come up with the most outlandish (and borderline inappropriate) names that you could get the USF team members to input. Over the years, though, the namecheck interaction on the ride became more and more inconsistent, adding to a general feeling among many fans that E.T.'s days in the park might be numbered. Universal Studios Hollywood closed its E.T. ride in 2003 and its show building is now used for that park's version of Revenge of the Mummy. Japan's version closed in 2009 to make way for Space Fantasy: The Ride.

Here's an on-ride video of E.T. Adventure that I recorded in Orlando last month. E.T. did not say my name, or anyone else's.

Have you ridden the E.T. Adventure? Did E.T. say your name?

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Robert Niles

Trattoria al Forno Opens Tomorrow; STK Comes to Disney Springs

Published: December 17, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Walt Disney World's newest restaurant, Trattoria al Forno, opens tomorrow at Disney's Boardwalk, between Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios. The Italian eatery will open for breakfast and dinner in the space formerly occupied by Kouzzina by Cat Cora. Disney's completely reworked the interior of the restaurant, which will feature an open kitchen serving Neapolitan-style pizzas, Italian pasta classics and grilled meats and seafood for dinner, in multiple dining rooms. Breakfast will feature eggs, waffles, and pancakes "along with some classic Italian tastes," according to Disney.

Pizza at Trattoria al Forno
Photo courtesy Disney

In other Disney World restaurant news, the resort has confirmed that the STK steakhouse chain will be joining the dining lineup in The Landing area of Disney Springs in 2015. STK Orlando will occupy 14,000 feet across two floors, making it one of the chain's largest locations. STK Orlando joins the previously announced Morimoto Asia and The Boathouse in opening next year in Disney Springs.


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Robert Niles

Monday Top 10: The Theme Parks You Dream of Visiting Someday

Published: December 15, 2014 at 11:34 AM

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Robert Niles

Vote of the Week: Let's Pick the Overall 'Best Theme Song' Champion

Published: December 12, 2014 at 11:23 AM

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Robert Niles

Jim Atchison Steps Down as SeaWorld Parks CEO After a Dreadful Five-Year Run

Published: December 11, 2014 at 8:11 PM

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Robert Niles

Looking for Christmas Gifts for Theme Park Fans?

Published: December 11, 2014 at 10:38 AM

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